Not to be outdone, Sun will debut its Constellation supercomputer in Dresden on June 26. While not as large as IBMs Blue Gene, it promises to deliver nearly 2 petaflops of performance. The Constellation is the result of collaboration between Sun and the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas in Austin. It features 82 SunFire blade servers, two Sun Magnum ultra-dense switches, an Infiniband host interface (with 288 ports), next-generation Mellanox HCA (high-contrast addressing) and a Sun Fire X4500 storage cluster with 480TB per rack.The Constellation also features Solaris, Linux, OpenMPI, Open InfiniBand interfaces and management, x64 Computing Architecture, and InfiniBand DDR interconnect. Its compute speed is estimated at 1.7 petaflops, and it will store up to 10 petabytes of data, Bechtolsheim said. This will be the second Constellation system built by Sun, which constructed a similar system for Tokyo Tech last year. Nvidia offers high-performance computing based on GPU technology. Click here to read more. The Constellation is expected to be one of if not the most powerful computing platforms in the world, Bechtolsheimone of the four co-founders of Sun in 1982told a group of journalists and analysts in a preview session last week in Menlo Park, Calif. "This will easily outperform any computer on the list right now," Bechtolsheim said. "Its 20 times faster than any of them. But we have to make it a reality first." "Were hoping we can get this thing built and operational before the November Top 500 computer listing is made," Bechtolsheim said. "But were still waiting on the availability of the chips." The Constellation will run on Advanced Micro Devices quad-core Opteron processors, dubbed "Barcelona," which have not yet been released, Bechtolsheim said. "Of course, we have our in-house chips, which we used to test capabilities, but we dont have the production-ready ones yet. [AMD is] supposed to be getting them to us very soon," Bechtolsheim said. "But what is good is that a lot of the technology and good ideas that go into these machines will eventually make it into our personal computers at some point. Sort of like NASA and all the technology it buys over the years." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.
The core switch supports up to 3,456 nodes, and each custom rack supports 48 server modules, chief architect Andy Bechtolsheim said.