clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Nvidia aims at low-power ARM supercomputing, pairs a quarter-thousand Tegra 3s with GeForce GPUs

New, 32 comments

Barcelona Supercomputing Center's ARM experiment will use Tegra 3 for much greater efficiency.

Tegra 3 reference board cuda dev kit
Tegra 3 reference board cuda dev kit

The Barcelona Supercomputing Center already had a prototype ARM-based computer cluster, but it's getting a hefty upgrade this year, possibly to stay ahead of the ARM server racks that companies like HP are now developing. With 256 quad-core Tegra 3 chips, 256 GeForce 520MX GPUs and 1TB of DDR3 memory, the system will calculate at an estimated 38 teraflops — and reportedly only consume about one watt of energy for each 7.5 gigaflops of that power. Nvidia's calling it the "world's first ARM-based CPU/GPU hybrid supercomputer," and while that's probably a qualifier or two more than the history books would like, Europe's PRACE Mont-Blanc Project promises to be four to ten times more efficient than rival supercomputers by 2014. You're looking at one of the boards above, of which there'll be eight in a 1U box, and 32 boxes in a rack, but Nvidia's also looking to sell individual boards as a ARM-based CUDA development kit. You'll be able to purchase them in the first half of 2012 if you're looking to develop for the system. More details at our source links, particularly the PDF.