Kolob super computer uses Nvidia's Tesla GPU
Following its inauguration in September, researchers at the University of Heidelberg have now carried out the first performance measurements on a super computer that uses Nvidia graphics processing units (GPUs). In response to enquiries by the iX editorial team, we understand that, for climate-related reasons, the GPUs' full computing power has not yet been utilised. The aggregated total power of the cluster is 17 TFLOPS. The Kolob cluster consists of 40 computing nodes, each of which uses two quad core Xeons – 2.33 GHz – for one Tesla GPU C870. Each GPU consists of 128 cores. The extrapolated, rounded peak performance would be 2.98 TFLOPS for the Xeons – 37.28 GFLOPS each – plus 14 TFLOPS for the GPUs – 350 GFLOPS each.
Kolob is a joint project between the Institute for Computer Engineering of the University of Heidelberg (ZITI) in Mannheim, the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics (ITA) and the Astronomical Computing Institute – both part of the Centre for Astronomy. The astrophysics calculations were previously running on expensive, internally-developed Grape cards.