S. Alam, R. Barrett, M. Bast, M. R. Fahey, J. Kuehn, C. McCurdy, J. Rogers, P. Roth, R. Sankaran, J. S. Vetter, P. Worley, W. Yu , "Early Evaluation of IBM BlueGene/P,” Conference on High Performance Networking and Computing, Proceedings of the 2008 ACM/IEEE conference on Supercomputing (2008). ,", .
BlueGene/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.