Argonne National Laboratory

Early Evaluation of IBM BlueGene/P

TitleEarly Evaluation of IBM BlueGene/P
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsAlam, S, Barrett, R, Bast, M, Fahey, MR, Kuehn, J, McCurdy, C, Rogers, J, Roth, PC, Vetter, JS, Worley, PH, Yu, W
Date Published12/2007
AbstractBlueGene/P (BG/P) is the second-generation BlueGene architecture from IBM, succeeding BlueGene/L (BG/L). BG/P is a system-on-a-chip (SoC) design that uses four PowerPC 450 cores operating at 850 MHz with a double-precision, dual-pipe floating point unit per core. These chips are connected with multiple interconnection networks, including a 3-D torus, a global collective network, and a global barrier network. The design is intended to provide a highly scalable, physically dense system with relatively low power requirements per flop. In this paper, we report on our examination of BG/P, presented in the context of a set of important scientific applications, and as compared to other major, large-scale supercomputers in use today. Our investigation confirms that BG/P has good scalability with an expected lower performance per processor when compared to the Cray XT4's Opteron. We also find that BG/P uses very low power per floating point operation for certain kernels, yet it has less of a power advantage when considering science-driven metrics for mission applications.
Full Text

Conference on High Performance Networking and Computing, Proceedings of the 2008 ACM/IEEE conference on Supercomputing (2008).