Super Computing News - Page 7
IBM over the next five years will build a low-power, exascale computer for largest-ever radio telescope, promises it won't be Skynet
Over the next five years, IBM is set to work with the Netherland's National Institute of Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) where tehy hope to develop a low-powered, exascale supercomputer. Not impressed yet? Hold onto your chair, dear reader. According to IBM, this supercomputer would be millions of times faster than today's high-end desktop PCs, and possibly thousands of times faster than even the most recent super computers.
The exascale computer would be used to analyze data collected by SKA (square-kilometer array), which is a cutting-edge radio telescope set to become the largest and most sensitive of its kind ever built. ASTRON hopes to have the telescope ready by 2024. While it's still a fair way off, the excitement will only build over time.
Now, this is where you don your math hat, and get ready to have your eyes widen a little: to compare to what we know, and use now, exascale refers to a computing device that is just incredibly fast, where the number of floating-point operations per second it can perform isn't measured by gigaflops or even petaflops, but exaflops. Today's highest-end desktop CPUs rank up around 20 gigaflops, not that impressive in terms of scale to this beast.
Well not really. Or rather, not yet.
Columbia doctors want to use Watson to diagnose patients, so they've been testing "him" for almost a year to see how the trivia super computer stacks up in medical problem-solving.
The project is led by Herbert Chase, a professor of clinical medicine in the Department of Biomedical Informatics. Through a series of tests, questions, inquiries, and experiments, Chase hopes to retrofit the knowledge bot with an understanding of diagnostic medicine.
Chase said in the Columbia news release.
"It's been impossible for probably 20 or 30 years for a human to process the information required to practice medicine at the highest, evidence-based, guideline-based level,"
Evidently, the minute "trouble" that Watson had with some of the JEOPARDY! questions is a bonus for the researchers. During the popular game show, contestants got a live feed of Watson's logic processing in reference to the posed question (answer?). There were often two or three wrong answers with probability factors accompanying each possibility. The stakes are a much higher in medicine, as well as the vast amount of information available. Try entering in "headache" as a symptom in any web-based diagnosis site and you'll get hits on everything from Hangover to Brain Tumor.
Rutter, Jeopardy's all time leading money winner and Jennings, who won 74 straight Jeopardy appearances, didn't even come close in the overall tally. Watson's $77,147 in earnings would have beaten the combined totals for Jennings ($24,000) and Rutter ($21,600). Watson's win netted a $1 million prize which IBM is donating to World Vision.
Dubbed the Tianhe-1A, it is located at the National Supercomputer Center (where else would you build a Supercomputer but the National Supercomputer Center!!) in Tianjin. The Tianhe-1A scored 2.507 petaflops as measured by the LINPACK benchmark.
The Tianhe-1A now beats the Cray's 2.3 petaflops.
Tianhe-1A was able to achieve it's record by using 7, 168 NVIDIA Tesla M2050 GPU's and 14, 336 Intel Xeon CPU's consuming a very nice 4.04 megawatts.