High-Performance Computing | News
National Cheng Kung U Develops Switchless Cluster Supercomputer
The National Cheng Kung
(RSC) in Taiwan has developed a switchless cluster
supercomputer, called CK-Star.
CK-Star connects eight Acer Altos R380 F2
servers with Intel Xeon
processors and Intel Xeon Phi 7120P
coprocessors to achieve 15
teraFLOPS (15 trillion floating-point operations). According to NCKU,
the CK-Star "has produced record-breaking computer performance at 80.2
percent for four nodes and 77.3 percent for eight nodes, beating
Intel’s previous world record of 79.6 percent for four nodes and 76.1
percent for eight nodes."
Unlike traditional cluster supercomputers, which use switches to
control interaction between the computer nodes, the CK-Star uses a
switchless design. According to NCKU, switches introduce a performance
bottleneck when there are a large number of nodes in the cluster, and
they also consume considerable power, as much as 50 percent of the
total power consumption of a traditional cluster supercomputer.
"CK-Star has an innovative structure and an enhanced performance. It
has overcome the limitations of switches and solved the problem of high
power dissipation through switches," said Yuefan Deng, one of the
developers of CK-Star, in a prepared statement.
CK-Star is not the first record-breaking supercomputer built by NCKU
RSC. The center also collaborated with Gigabyte to develop the
GS-R22PHL supercomputer. The GS-R22PHL has been recorded to reach 3.7
teraFLOPS (3.7 trillion floating-point operations) and is the highest
performing single supercomputer to date, according to NCKU.
CK-Star was built by Chi-Chuan Hwang, director of NCKU RSC, and Yuefan
Deng of mainland China's National Supercomputing Center in Jinan
(NSCCJN), in collaboration with an international team of researchers in
Asia and the United States. Yuefan Deng is also a distinguished
professor at the State
University of New York
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.