Hardware Progress: LLNL 60 Tflop machine

From: Dani Eder (danielravennest@yahoo.com)
Date: Sun Feb 03 2002 - 12:03:19 MST

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is soliciting
bids for the next generation supercomputer in their
series of fastest computers in the world. The ASCI
series of computers are being developed to allow
simulation of nuclear weapons, so that the US won't
have to test live weapons, but still have some
confidence they will work. The next generation
machine, ASCI Purple, has to have a peak performance
of at least 60 Tflops. It is due to be delivered
around 2004.

The statement of work is at:

There is some interesting information in there about
how most of the storage bandwith is expected to be
used to save checkpoint data during a sim run. With
the large number of components in the system, the
mean time to hardware failure is expected to be
within an order of magnitude of the simulation run
time, so you need to save as you go to avoid having
to start all over when there is a failure.

In designing an AI that may have a similarly large
number of components, or fewer components but
expected to possibly run for years, it would be
prudent to consider how to handle hardware failures.


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