JazzNet `Personal Supercomputer' Unveiled
Roldan Pozo, Mathematical and Computational Science Division, recently
unveiled JazzNet, a new fast-interconnect workstation cluster based on
Intel P6 microprocessors. The goal was to build an inexpensive "personal
supercomputer" capable of achieving more than 1 Gflop (one billion
floating point operations per second) for under $30,000 using existing
commercial hardware and software. Initial performance studies indicate
that this milestone has been surpassed.
The current system is built using five Intel Pentium (P6) computers,
each of which can deliver up to 200 Mflop (200 million floating point operations
per second) and 600 MIPS (600 million instructions per second). The processors
are connected using a dedicated 100Base T Ethernet network capable of moving
data at 5 megabytes per second (10 times that of conventional Ethernet).
The system runs Linux 2.0 and has been outfitted with parallel programming
libraries and packages, including PVM, XPVM, MPI, Posix Threads, and High
Performance Fortran. A second phase of the project will integrate an experimental
Gigabit Myrinet communication network to study performance effects of increased
network bandwidth on computational science applications.