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Thread: Cray Power - The Ultimate Flight Simulator - Rated XXX

  1. #1

    Default Cray Power - The Ultimate Flight Simulator - Rated XXX

    I only put the XXX in to get your attention.

    Actually, I had a thought today. And, mind you it wasn't the first one I've had this month. I thought I'd pass it on to you guys et gals. Of course, if "I" had the idea, at least 3,475,911 other people have had it, too.

    "What if" you had access to a super computer. A CRAY for example that does 60 bazzilion-quadrillion computations a nanosecond and has a hard disk to match. On this hard disk you have a program of a globe (Not flat like a Bill Gate$ product.)of the world. On this globe you put the earth scenery of every available aerial and satellite photo available through out the world (Which, incidently, the CIA has or should have already.). With the power of this super computer, one has the horsepower to get a resolution capable of every flightsimmer to see his/her own house when flying the 'hood.

    Now the average flightsimmer needs to have access to the information on this machine (i.e., the super computer)without having to buy and store 60X10^10 CD disks. They do this with just the basic software to run the flight simulation program and a modem giving them access to the Internet. They go on line and - well you know the rest.

    Costs to the simmer - assuming they already have a PC - are for the operating CD and a monthly fee to access the program on the super computer - Bill'$ going to get his bucks one way or the other.

    So what possibilities does this offer?

    You tell me!

    Paul

  2. Default RE: Cray Power - The Ultimate Fligh

    The possibility of the scenario you mention probably won't be limited by hardware, but more by security and copyright issues.

    Since you mentioned CRAY, let's put this in perspective.

    The original Cray supercomputer was built in the early eighties and cost about $10,000,000 in a basic configuration, that is without workstations, optical storage etc. This is the famous octagonal pillar with the bench around it's base. Actually, the bench contains the power supply. It has become the 'icon' of supercomputers and I bet many people still picture this one when thinking of a 'supercomputer', even though it was superceded by newer, more conventional-looking Cray models.
    Recently, I came across a january 1982 issue of Scientific American that had an extensive article on the architecture of the Cray (among others). This one had just been installed at Ames' Research Center.

    Let's have a look at the raw numbers:

    Single 64-bit processor cycling at 12.5 nanosecs (8 MHz).
    4,194,304 64-bit words of memory, that's 32Mb.
    Several diskunits, 77 million 64-bit words, that's 616Mb each
    (each about the size of a washing machine).
    Memory bandwidth, 80 million 64-bit words/sec = 640Mb/sec.

    Performance: ~100 64-bit MFLOPS (peak).

    This level of performance was reached by Pentium 100 Mhz in 1995 (Sisoft Sandra CPU 124 MFLOPS) This actually was handicapped by having to use the 32/64-bit FPU since SSE (which can use true 64-bit FP internally) wasn't implemented yet.

    Memory bandwidth took longer to match with a PC, not until P III 500 Mhz.

    http://www6.tomshardware.com/cpu/200...charts-28.html

    I'm sure you cannot compare the Cray and PC's as closely like that, the infrastructure being so different (especially the 32/64 bit thing), but it's just to give some idea of basic performance levels...

  3. #3

    Default RE: Cray Power - The Ultimate Fligh

    Interesting idea. Let me see if I have you straight. It would be like an online game but on steriods. The bottleneck in this case, is the link between the home user and the super server.
    I would also think that the aircraft models and panels would have to be stored on the home users computer. Either that, or you would "rent" space on the server for your mods and exotic planes that you wanted to fly.

  4. #4

    Default RE: Cray Power - The Ultimate Fligh

    Sounds right to me.

  5. #5

    Default RE: Cray Power - The Ultimate Fligh

    You're probably right. Very complex problem, but with time I think the capability will come.

  6. #6

    Default RE: Cray Power - The Ultimate Fligh

    Sorry about the short responses. I was a litle busy.

    A number of years ago, I worked on a GIS system through a main frame computer. Most of my fellow workers had "terminals" to connect to the main frame, which was the only thing these CRT's could do. I had a PC that had a board in it like a modem that allowed me to connect to the main frame. Otherwise, I could do regular PC type things (LOTUS 123, word processing, etc.). Perhaps something like this would allow a PC to connect to the Super Computer.

    Thanks for the ideas,

    Paul

  7. Default RE: Cray Power - The Ultimate Fligh

    >"What if" you had access to a super computer. A CRAY for
    >example that does 60 bazzilion-quadrillion computations a
    >nanosecond and has a hard disk to match. On this hard disk
    >you have a program of a globe (Not flat like a Bill Gate$
    >product.)of the world. On this globe you put the earth
    >scenery of every available aerial and satellite photo
    >available through out the world (Which, incidently, the CIA
    >has or should have already.). With the power of this super
    >computer, one has the horsepower to get a resolution capable
    >of every flightsimmer to see his/her own house when flying
    >the 'hood.
    >

    Just wait a few years and the average PC desktop will have the computing power of the current state-of-the-art Crays. Of course, FS2012 will still run really slow if you max out the AI traffic. One thing I would like to see as computing power increases is truly dynamic weather. Instead of the simple objective analysis that is used now, the weather module could be a full-fledged numerical forecast model. Not only would this be able to accurately recreate the current weather from a handful of observations, but the weather would realistically change with time. The weather would also be much more detailed because the model would be able to generate things that aren't even in the observations, like turbulence and icing.

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