LANL: Opteron + Cell = Roadrunner?

Los Alamos National Laboratories LogoVia Heise Newsticker, El Reg:

The Register claims that IBM proposes a new concept for Los Alamos’ new upcoming supercomputer, code-named “Roadrunner”. Both companies are bidding on the project for months, so this solution would be, well, at least very interesting. El Reg writes:

The lab will announce that IBM will build Roadrunner using a hybrid design that makes use of Opteron and Cell systems, according to a report from online rag CNET. The publication cites “sources familiar with the machine” as claiming that the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), which oversees LANL, will reveal IBM’s win “in the coming days.”

So The Reg is quoting CNET, but not giving any pointers, couldn’t find the source yet, so… I file this under “rumours” :)

There was no word yet about how the Cell– and Opteron-CPUs should be integrated; I bet a fiver that they’re going to use HyperTransport and install a Cell-CPU as a Co-processor to the Opterons – probably similar to the technology DRC Computer is using for their Virtex-FPGA integration-solution.

If not, what else would be possible? PCI-Express, for sure, but probably too expensive on a large scale. Ideas, do you know more than Big Reg? Tell me! Or use the fancy comment-function.

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3 Responses to LANL: Opteron + Cell = Roadrunner?

  1. monark says:

    One heck of a concept! The partnership between IBM and AMD has been developing for some time and it’s a good thing for the no2 and no3 chip makers to do. SOI was IBM’s gift to AMD and it is beginning to look like AMD will pass Direct Connect and Hyper Transport to IBM to return the favor. Looks like Intel has a whole lot of work to do to catch up with this Dynamic Duel.

    AMD’s announcement and laying out of their Opteron Roadmap is very eye openning and even if Intel is first to release Quadcore, AMD will not be far behind. But you gotta love thinking about posible competition slapping Intel up side the face someday!

  2. hpcanswers says:

    Hi Alex,

    I’m just as clueless as you are. IBM has been pretty light on the details, in much the same vein as Cray has been with Hood. With regards to the connection, HyperTransport is certainly a possibility as IBM is a member of the consortium. Of particular note is that IBM is now embracing HTX (which Sun has so far avoided). I guess we’ll know once the machine has been installed.

    – Chris

  3. […] There’s now a bit more information available about Roadrunner, the new supercomputer for the Los Alamos National Laboratories. We remember, AMD and IBM were fighting for months to get the contract, with a surprising result in the end: Opterons and Cell Broadcast Engine (based on IBM’s Power CPU) will be used to build a hybrid supercomputer. […]

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