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LinuxPR: University of Kentucky Wins Two Supercomputing Awards with Linux Clusters

Nov 27, 2000, 23:23 (4 Talkback[s])

"At the IEEE/ACM SC2000 conference on high-performance networking and computing, The Aggregate research group at the University of Kentucky was the only group to win two unrelated awards. For its application work, the group was given a Gordon Bell award (Honorable Mention in Price/Performance); for the architecture of the KRAA Z-MP cluster supercomputer, the group received an HPC Games award (Most Innovative Hardware)."

"Since 1987, the Gordon Bell Prizes have been awarded to recognize outstanding achievements in high-performance computing. Awards in the price/performance category are given to entries demonstrating an outstanding price-performance ratio as measured in dollars cost per million floating-point arithmetic operations per second (MFLOPS) achieved while executing a genuine application. The Kentucky team, Thomas Hauser, Tim Mattox, Ray LeBeau, Hank Dietz, and George Huang, was given an Honorable Mention in Price/Performance for its work "High-Cost CFD on a Low-Cost Cluster." CFD - Computational Fluid Dynamics - problems require notoriously complex computations; the group achieved a record price/performance of $1.86/MFLOPS simulating the airflow around a turbine blade."

"In large part, the outstanding price/performance on the CFD application was due to two major advances in the design of the supercomputer that ran the code: KLAT2, Kentucky Linux Athlon Testbed 2. KLAT2 is a cluster supercomputer that unites sixty-four 700MHz AMD Athlon PCs. Each of the processors achieves unusually high performance by using the 3DNow! instructions, which were intended to speed-up multimedia games, to provide a similar performance boost for the CFD arithmetic. The second advance involves the way that the PCs interact; a deliberately asymmetric Flat Neighborhood Network (FNN) built using multiple standard 100Mb/s Ethernets yields performance comparable to gigabit networks at a small fraction of the cost. Earlier this year, these technologies were responsible for KLAT2 becoming the first supercomputer to run a standard application benchmark (ScaLAPACK) with price/performance better than $1/MFLOPS."

Press Release