|Три статьи про китайскую имплементацию архитектуры MIPS для построения суперкомпьютера
||[Jan. 24th, 2010|09:56 pm]
Три статьи про китайскую имплементацию архитектуры MIPS, которую китайцы лицензировали у американской компании MIPS Technologies (в которой я работаю). Сначала были сверхдешевые ноутбуки, а теперь петафлопный суперкомпьютер. Вот она - мечта известного линуксоида Виктора Алксниса v_alksnis2, лексусистки Маши Сергеевой anaitiss и модернизатора Дмитрия Медведева blog_medvedev, причем мечта в исполнении китайских товарищей.
Интересно, что согласно третьей статье, главный американский друг российских линуксоидов Ричард Столман использует ноутбук именно с этим процессором.
Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/01/20/china_ict_dawning_super/
China picks MIPS for super-duper super
Dawning of a new petafloppy day - perhaps
By Timothy Prickett Morgan
Posted in HPC, 20th January 2010 07:02 GMT
The Chinese government burst onto the supercomputing scene in a big way last November (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/16/top500_supers_nov_2009/) when the Tianhe-1 massively parallel cluster at the National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin came in at number five on the global HPC ranking with a hybrid Intel Xeon-AMD Radeon GPU box. But it looks like the future of petaflops computing in the Middle Kingdom may be a variant of the MIPS processor that's used in embedded applications such as routers and, in China at least, in Debian-based netbooks.
In terms of raw theoretical number-crunching throughput, Tianhe-1 has already pushed above 1.2 petaflops. But on the Linpack Fortran benchmark that's used to rank the Top 500 (http://www.top500.org) supercomputers in the world, Tianhe-1 could only push 563.1 teraflops. A lot of that oomph came from the graphics co-processors in the system, and the wide gulf between peak and sustained performance shows that there is still work to be done in CPU-GPU clusters.
The Tianhe-1 machine is comprised of 8,960 server nodes linked by a 20Gb/sec InfiniBand backbone, with each node having two Xeon 5500-class processors running at 2.53GHz (for a total of 71,680 cores) and two ATI Radeon HD 4870 graphics cards.
Looking ahead to real petaflops performance, Technology Review, the tech trade rag affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, reports that the Institute of Computing Technology (ICT), part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and an organization that has been funding the development of various MIPS processors since 2002, has tapped its own future Loongson-3 MIPS variants to be at the heart of the petascale Dawning 6000 super.
Weiwu Hu, chief architect of the Loongson processors developed by ICT, told Technology Review that the future Dawning 6000 super, presumably based on the quad-core Loogson-3 MIPS-style processor, would be finished by the middle of this year and operational by the end of 2010. ICT originally got access to MIPS technology by virtue of its partnership with wafer-baker STMicroelectronics, but last June it licensed the MIPS32 and MIPS64 architectures straight from MIPS Technologies, the chip-designing division of Silicon Graphics that was spun out in an initial public offering in 1998.
Be careful what technologies you let go of. Wouldn't it be ironic if parallel MIPS boxes started making it tough for X64 enthusiasts like SGI and Cray to sell parallel monsters?
The initial Loongson-1 processors were 32-bit chips at an unimpressive 266MHz, and the Loongson-2 went to 64-bit processing and was goosed as far as 1.2GHz. With the Loongson-2F chip in 2007, ICT came out with a design that has four cores (expandable to 16) with two floating-point units per core (one with a SIMD unit), plus 512KB of L2 cache and a DDR2 memory controller embedded on the chip.
It was these Loongson-2F chips that the University of Science and Technology in China used to make a 1-teraflops parallel super at the end of 2007 that cost something like $120,000. The Loongson-3 chip was supposed to come out last year with four cores and 4MB of L2 cache on the chip, but it slipped into this year. (Welcome to the joys of the chip biz, China.)
There is some speculation that ICT will actually plunk eight cores onto the Loongson-3 chips using 65-nanometer processes when it delivers the chip this year instead of the quad-cores expected last year. ICT did not confirm what variant of Loongson-3 would be used in the future Dawning 6000 cluster.
Interestingly, according to a paper published (http://www.computer.org/portal/web/csdl/doi/10.1109/MM.2009.30) at the IEEE written by the chip designers at ICT and entitled "Godson-3: A Scalable Multicore RISC Processor with x86 Emulation," the impending Chinese variant of the MIPS chip will be able to emulate x86 instructions. (Loongson and Godson seem to be synonymous; those are not two chip names.) The chip apparently has instructions added to help the QEMU hypervisor (the one that's at the heart of Red Hat's KVM) to translate instructions from x86 to MIPS format. According to early benchmarks, the emulation has about a 30-per cent penalty.
Such emulation, if it works well, could be not only interesting for PCs of various shapes and sizes, but also for supercomputing workloads.
The Chinese government is not, of course, the first organization to try to take the MIPS architecture back into the supercomputing world from whence it came. SiCortex, for example, gave it a go with its innovative machines, but ended up peddling its assets (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/28/sicortex_assets/) last summer when the business didn't take off.
But the SiCortex machine didn't have an x86 emulation mode, and ICT might be on to something if x86 and MIPS code can be run on the same machine, perhaps supporting a mix of Windows and Linux workloads on a power-efficient box. Then again, the Dawning 6000 could be a kludge, something done for political reasons more than technical ones. ®
People’s Processor: Embrace China’s Homegrown Computer Chips
* By Christopher Mims Email Author
* December 21, 2009 |
* 10:00 am |
* Wired Jan 2010
Imagine that your nation is entirely dependent on a belligerent and economically unstable foreign country for a precious commodity. Imagine that without that commodity, your entire society would grind to a halt. Got it? OK, now imagine that your nation is China, the belligerent nation is the US, and the commodity is CPUs.
For China to maintain its blistering pace of growth — about 8 percent over the course of the global financial meltdown — the nation’s leaders know they must transition to a postindustrial economy as rapidly as they transitioned to a free-market economy 30 years ago. Computers are key to doing that. The country’s demand for PCs is enormous. The Chinese purchased 39.6 million of them in 2008. And that number is only going to climb — 75 percent of the population still doesn’t have access to the Internet. But the vast majority of PCs sold in China are running central processing units created by the US companies Intel and AMD. This poses a range of problems; perhaps the biggest is that it locks China into paying first-world prices for CPUs. China is also deeply reluctant to build military hardware on top of Western processors. (And if that sounds paranoid, keep in mind that there’s concern in Washington over whether the US military should use American-designed chips that have merely been manufactured overseas.)
Given those issues, it’s not hard to understand why the Chinese government sponsored an ambitious initiative to create a sort of national processor. Work on the Loongson, or Dragon Chip, began in 2001 at the Institute of Computing Technology in Beijing. The goal was to create a chip that would be versatile enough to drive anything from an industrial robot to a supercomputer. One of the first Loongson-powered computers appeared in 2006, an ultracompact desktop PC known as the Fuloong (Lucky Dragon). It was built by the Chinese company Lemote, which soon followed that up with a cheap netbook. And China is now boasting that a third-generation multicore Loongson chip, currently in the prototype stage, will be used to power a petaflop supercomputer.
China’s decision to roll its own processors has gone largely unnoticed in the West. It shouldn’t. The country is incredibly motivated for the project to succeed — it has become a cornerstone of the National High-Tech R&D Program embarked upon in 1986. And we know that the Chinese are very good at leveraging economies of scale. The Loongson chip is going to change more than just computer-ownership rates in the most populous nation on the planet. It’s going to have a profound impact on computers everywhere.
For starters, it could help usher in an era of true post-Windows PCs. Because the Loongson eschews the standard x86 chip architecture, it can’t run the full version of Microsoft Windows without software emulation. To encourage adoption of the processor, the Institute of Computing Technology is adapting everything from Java to OpenOffice for the Loongson chip and releasing it all under a free software license. Lemote positions its netbook as the only computer in the world with nothing but free software, right down to the BIOS burned into the motherboard chip that tells it how to boot up. It’s for this last reason that Richard “GNU/Linux” Stallman, granddaddy of the free software movement, uses a laptop with a Loongson chip.
Loongson could also reshape the global PC business. “Compared to Intel and IBM, we are still in the cradle,” concedes Weiwu Hu, chief architect of the Loongson. But he also notes that China’s enormous domestic demand isn’t the only potential market for his CPU. “I think many other poor countries, such as those in Africa, need low-cost solutions,” he says. Cheap Chinese processors could corner emerging markets in the developing world (and be a perk for the nation’s allies and trade partners).
And that’s just the beginning. “These chips have implications for space exploration, intelligence gathering, industrialization, encryption, and international commerce,” says Tom Halfhill, a senior analyst for Microprocessor Report.
Will Loongson-based PCs make inroads with average consumers in the West? You can already order a Lemote netbook online. It isn’t any cheaper or better than other entry-level netbooks, and reviews from geeky hardware enthusiast sites are less than enthusiastic. But these crude first-generation products hark back to another wave of boxy, underpowered consumer goods that were initially regarded as mere curiosities in the West. They were called Toyotas.
China's Loongson Processor Effort
posted by Thom Holwerda on Wed 30th Dec 2009 21:22 UTC, submitted by SReilly
What laptop does Richard Stallman use? A Dell, HP, maybe even an Apple? No - RMS uses a rather odd laptop, a netbook powered by the Chinese Loongson processor: the Yeeloong, a completely Free laptop. From BIOS to operating system, this machine is completely open source. Wired is running a very interesting article on the Loongson processor effort.
China, with its massive population, is a very interesting market for computer companies. Only 25% of China's population has access to the internet, so it's a massive growth market. The Chinese themselves realised this too, and in order to not be dependant on foreign powers, they decided to develop their own processor.
This would become the Loongson, currently in its second generation. The third generation, which will sport 4 cores and later 8 cores, will be released in 2010. Where it gets really interesting, however, is when you look at the software these Loongson chips are running. Since it's a MIPS chip, it can't run Windows
In other words, one of the biggest growth markets in the computing world might be conquered not by Intel and AMD's x86 running Windows, but by a 64bits MIPS chip running open source operating systems like Linux and the BSDs. The key here, as Wired notes, is that Loongson-based devices will be much cheaper for Chinese buyers than Western x86 machines.
Of course, the Loongson chip still has a long way to go before it can compete performance wise with Western products, but progress is being made, and China is determined. "The country is incredibly motivated for the project to succeed - it has become a cornerstone of the National High-Tech R&D Program embarked upon in 1986," Wired writes, "And we know that the Chinese are very good at leveraging economies of scale."
Combine all this with the fact that the third generation Loongson chip will include specific instructions to speed up x86-to-MIPS dynamic binary translation, and you can see that the Chinese are really taking this seriously.
Which is good news for all of us. x86 Needs competition.
Фотка процессора с http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2010-01/chinas-next-supercomputer-run-home-grown-processing-power