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The information below describes the configuration and architecture prior to the development of the complete ASC Purple system.

IBM will deliver the new high-speed, low-latency Federation Interconnect for communications between SMPs, achieving in excess of 8 GB/s peak bi-directional bandwidth. Each SMP has 32 GiB (32×230 or 3.44×109 bytes) of memory. The entire Purple system will have 50 TiB (50×240 or 5.50×1013 bytes) of memory and 2.0 PB (2.0×1015 or two petabytes) of globally accessible disk. This is the equivalent of 25,000 high-end personal computers.

Some of the hardware from the ASC Purple contract is already operational. An Early Demonstration of Technology Vehicle (pEDTV) has been delivered to LLNL. pEDTV is based on IBM's p655+ nodes with dual planes of Federation interconnect. This dual plane Federation interconnect is similar to Purple but is only a dual stage switch, not the full three stage Federation switch required for Purple. The p655+ nodes have eight Power4+ processors running at 1.5 GHz and 16 GiB of memory and 2×145.6 GB of local disk configured to allow booting of two completely different software releases or patch levels. This machine is being used to drive the Federation schedule and to debug the Federation adapters, switch, and software components. It is also being used to study and improve the performance of the Federation interconnect on ASC applications. Currently, pEDTV is split into two machines—UM, a 128-node machine on the Secure Computing Facility (SCF) network, and UV, a 128-node cluster on the Open Computing Facility (OCF) network. UM and UV each have 70 TB of global disk available to all compute nodes via IBM's General Parallel File System (GPFS). Each machine also has 12×1 Gb/s Ethernet for parallel FTP transfer of user data to the archive.

Purple will require 7.5 MW of electrical power for the computer and cooling equipment, the equivalent electrical power of 7,500 average homes. Additionally, the full system is expected to generate more than 16,000,000 Btu/h in heat, requiring new air-handling designs and specifications.

Refer to the Archive for additional hardware architecture and configuration information.

ASC Purple At a Glance
Number Attribute
100 teraFLOPS Peak computational rate
50 TB (50×240 bytes) Aggregate memory
2.0 PB (2.0×1015 bytes) Aggregate global disk
122 GB/s (122 ×109 bytes/seconds) Delivered global I/O bandwidth to applications
12.3 TB/s (12.3×1012 bytes/seconds) Aggregate intra-SMP link bandwidth
223 (443) TB (in 1012 bytes) Aggregate local disk (mirrored) capacity
>10,000 Number of disk drives in the system
92 GB/s (92 ×109 bytes/seconds) Delivered aggregate local I/O bandwidth to applications
32 x 10-Gb/s Ethernet (in 109 bits/seconds) External networking
>12,000 Number of processors
Power5 Microprocessor technology
7.5 MW (7.5×106 Watts) Power required for computer and cooling
>16,000,000 BTU/hr Heat generated


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