End-to-end compute model of the Square Kilometre Array

Copyright © (2014) by IEEE. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distrubuted for profit. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers, or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee.

Scientific requirements for next-generation radio telescopes significantly influence compute requirements of their processing facilities. For future instruments, such as the Square Kilometre Array, seemingly minor changes can easily push compute requirements into the exascale domain. We present a model for engineers and astronomers to understand these relations and to make trade-offs in radio telescope designs.

We use the models to analyze the compute and bandwidth requirements for continuum imaging with three instruments of the Square Kilometre Array: SKA1-Low, SKA1-Mid, and SKA1-Survey. The results show that these instruments impose the highest demands on the Science Data Processor facility, with a required, sustained, compute load up to 4.2 EOps/s for SKA1-Mid. If we consider only the power consumption of double-precision fused multiply-add operations, it is estimated that the SDP already consumes more than 18 MW.

By: Rik Jongerius, Stefan Wijnholds, Ronald Nijboer, and Henk Corporaal

Published in: IEEE Computer, volume 479, (no ), pages 48-54 in 2014

Please obtain a copy of this paper from your local library. IBM cannot distribute this paper externally.

Questions about this service can be mailed to reports@us.ibm.com .