(j3.2006) illusive exaflops

Dick Hendrickson dick.hendrickson
Tue Feb 22 18:13:19 EST 2011

On Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 4:08 PM, Bill Long <longb at cray.com> wrote:

> If you look back at the Gordon Bell contest winners (real programs, as
> opposed to the artificial Linpack benchmark used for the Top 500 list), the
> pattern of passing metric thresholds has been quite regular:
> 1988 - Gigaflops
> 1998 - Teraflops
> 2008 - Petaflops
> 2018 - Exaflops (projected)
> So, I agree that 2015 is optimistic, but 2018 is on the historical track.
> It is not that difficult to gang together a lot of processors - the real
> issue for a useful Exaflops system is software - how do you program it?  We
> have parallel languages now (go F2008!). The next challenge is codes that
> are resilient to hardware failure, since that WILL happen with the number of
> components involved with such a system.

 I remember Craig R. of LASL saying at one J3 meeting that for their
gang-of-many-processors system the system start-up boot time was greater
than the mean time to failure for a processor in the gang.  That was even
after they did the obvious fix--stopped using Windows!

Dick Hendrickson
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