Thursday, September 18, 2008

Building supercomputers from computer game chips

Eric McCreath/Eric McCreath is giving a seminar at the ANU on building supercomputers from computer game chips. He will be talking about using the Cell Broadband Engine (from Sony's PlayStation 3 game console) and the NVIDIA 8800 GPU (from PC gaming graphics cards) for scientific applications. The seminar is free and there is no need to book:


Using the Cell Broadband Engine and NVIDIA 8800 GPU for Computational Science Applications: A Particle Dynamics Comparison

Eric McCreath (DCS, ANU)

DATE: 2008-09-25
TIME: 16:00:00 - 17:00:00
LOCATION: CSIT Seminar Room, N101

The NVIDIA 8800 Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) and the Cell Broadband Engine employ a vast amount of parallelism to produce low cost high performance systems which dwarf standard desktop processing units in terms of floating point calculations. These systems offer great potential for computational science applications. This presentation compares the programming model, implementation strategies and realised performance achieved on these two systems for implementing a simple particle dynamics simulation code. Both systems were found to give considerable performance improvements over high-end uni-processor machines. The Synergistic Processing Elements (SPE), on the Cell, can not directly access main memory. This complicates initial implementation compared to the NVIDIA GPU, however, fully exploiting the complex architectures of both systems is equally challenging.

Eric McCreath completed his Ph.D. degree in 1999 from the University of New South Wales. This was on research involving Inductive Logic Programming(ILP) which is a sub-field of Machine Learning. He joined the Basser Department of Computer Science(now the School of Information Technologies) at Sydney University in 1999 as a lecturer and then in 2001 he joined the Department of Computer Science at the Australian National University. Dr McCreath currently holds a lecturing position at the ANU and is pursuing research in the Computer Systems research group.

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