06-10-2008, 12:24 AM #1Former Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
World's most expensive computer ($100 mill) achieves "petaflop" speed
But the Roadrunner supercomputer, named after the New Mexico state bird, is nothing like a video game.
The interconnecting system occupies 6,000 square feet with 57 miles of fiber optics and weighs 500,000 pounds. Although made from commercial parts, the computer consists of 6,948 dual-core computer chips and 12,960 cell engines, and it has 80 terabytes of memory housed in 288 connected refrigerator-sized racks.
The cost: $100 million.
Turek said the computer in a two-hour test on May 25 achieved a "petaflop" speed of sustained performance, something no other computer had ever done. It did so again in several real applications involving classified nuclear weapons work this past weekend.
"This is a huge and remarkable achievement," said Turek in a conference call with reporters.
A "flop" is an acronym meaning floating-point-operations per second. One petaflop is 1,000 trillion operations per second. Only two years ago, there were no actual applications where a computer achieved 100 teraflops — a tenth of Roadrunner's speed — said Turek, noting that the tenfold advancement came over a relatively short time. (more excitement at link)
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