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The Icon Bar: News and features: Tiny Scotsman is energy-efficient supercomputer
 

Tiny Scotsman is energy-efficient supercomputer

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 13:25, 22/3/2007 | , , , ,
 
Scottish companies Nallatech and Alpha Data have revealed "Maxwell", an FGPA-based supercomputer that is 10 times more energy efficient and up to 300 times faster than traditional equivalents. By reprogramming the FPGA chips at runtime, the machine is able to perform some calculations much more efficiently than a traditional computer, in a way somewhat reminiscent of the ill-fated Omega from MicroDigital. The design also requires less space and cooling than traditional supercomputers. Although the technology behind the machine is sound, there are still some implementation issues to resolve, such as determining the best way of programming the FPGAs for a given problem.
 
It's reported that other companies are also looking at using FPGAs in large numbers to produce similar supercomputers.
 
Knews knicked from CNET
 
  Tiny Scotsman is energy-efficient supercomputer
  nunfetishist (18:04 22/3/2007)
  Loris (19:36 22/3/2007)
    filecore (20:09 22/3/2007)
      monkeyson2 (20:26 22/3/2007)
        Phlamethrower (20:46 22/3/2007)
    nunfetishist (22:36 22/3/2007)
      monkeyson2 (23:06 22/3/2007)
        nunfetishist (17:19 23/3/2007)
        Loris (17:36 23/3/2007)
 
Rob Kendrick Message #100528, posted by nunfetishist at 18:04, 22/3/2007
nunfetishist
Exposing morons since 1981

Posts: 486
I imagine the FPGAs are actually just tunable to doing something else, rather than you being able to change them at will constantly - the problem of converting a language into something you can feed into an FPGA to describe how it functions is enormously complex, and for everything but the most simple designs can take ages (sometimes literally) to just work out how to get the design to fit, let alone efficiently.

Also, with numbers quoted like this, I'm reminded of the PS3: yeah, sure, it'll be 300 times faster than anything else in the world - you just won't be able to find a purpose for the single case that it is
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Tony Haines Message #100547, posted by Loris at 19:36, 22/3/2007, in reply to message #100528
madbanHa ha, me mine, mwahahahaha
Posts: 1025
Also the "traditional computer" is presumably an x86 PC, so not all that efficient.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jason Togneri Message #100549, posted by filecore at 20:09, 22/3/2007, in reply to message #100547

Posts: 3867
News knicked from CNET
I'm just wondering when "knick" became slang for "steal". Or possible slang for "nick".
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Phil Mellor Message #100551, posted by monkeyson2 at 20:26, 22/3/2007, in reply to message #100549
monkeyson2Please don't let them make me be a monkey butler

Posts: 12380
News knicked from CNET
I'm just wondering when "knick" became slang for "steal". Or possible slang for "nick".
Better?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jeffrey Lee Message #100554, posted by Phlamethrower at 20:46, 22/3/2007, in reply to message #100551
PhlamethrowerHot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot stuff

Posts: 15068
It's a silent k, obviously.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Rob Kendrick Message #100558, posted by nunfetishist at 22:36, 22/3/2007, in reply to message #100547
nunfetishist
Exposing morons since 1981

Posts: 486
Also the "traditional computer" is presumably an x86 PC, so not all that efficient.
Compared to what? Modern x86 is extremely efficient at turning out the FLOPs.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Phil Mellor Message #100562, posted by monkeyson2 at 23:06, 22/3/2007, in reply to message #100558
monkeyson2Please don't let them make me be a monkey butler

Posts: 12380
Also the "traditional computer" is presumably an x86 PC, so not all that efficient.
Compared to what? Modern x86 is extremely efficient at turning out the FLOPs.
and heating the room.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Rob Kendrick Message #100654, posted by nunfetishist at 17:19, 23/3/2007, in reply to message #100562
nunfetishist
Exposing morons since 1981

Posts: 486
You think BlueGene/L doesn't require cooling? smile
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Tony Haines Message #100657, posted by Loris at 17:36, 23/3/2007, in reply to message #100562
madbanHa ha, me mine, mwahahahaha
Posts: 1025
Hey, if you wrote a virus^H^H^H^H^Hworm for this which hid in the FPGAs...



...



...




...




you could call it Maxwell's Demon.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 

The Icon Bar: News and features: Tiny Scotsman is energy-efficient supercomputer