Showing posts with label Petaflop. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Petaflop. Show all posts

Nov 29, 2011

Hand Held Super Computer

ASCI Red supercomputer, the first computer capable of doing one trillion calculations per second. Now Intel says that it can put the processing power of ASCI Red in the palm of your hand. Literally.

Intel does this with a new chip, code-named Knights Corner. It crams more than 50 general-purpose Pentium microprocessor cores onto a single chip. All by itself, Knights Corner can perform about 1 trillion mathematical calculations per second. In 1996, it took 72 cabinets of servers for ASCI Red to pull off the same feat.

In June 2011, 17 of the world’s top 500 supercomputers used these graphical processing units, but now that number has jumped to 39

Intel is building a massive 10 petaflop (10 thousand trillion calculations per second) supercomputer called Stampede, out of these next-generation Intel chips. It takes server cards that have a Xeon and Knights Corner processor and slides them into specially designed 7 inch tall server boxes. They expect to get 8 petaflops of performance from the Knights Corner chips and another 2 from the Xeons when Stampede goes live. The 4U servers hold just one card now, but they are designed to eventually hold two, which means Stampede could double its power.

When it goes online in January 2013, Stampede will have 10,000 times the processing power of ASCI Red. As Tim Allen used to say, "Arrrgh, More Power!" Isn't technology wonderful!

Feb 25, 2011

Worlds Fastest Computer

The fastest computer in the world belongs to the Chinese. The Tianjin National Supercomputer Center's Tianhe-1A system benchmarked a performance of 2.67 petaflops (A petaflop is 1,125,899,906,842,624 calculations per second - a thousand trillion or quadrillion), surpassing the U.S. Department of Energy's Cray XT5 Jaguar system at a slow 1.75 petaflops. IBM is building two mega machines, a 10 petaflops and a 20 petaflops system, both to be running in 2012. We are approaching the Singularity faster than predicted.

A human brain's probable processing power is around 100 teraflops (100 trillion calculations per second), according to Hans Morvec, principal research scientist at the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University. We do have one edge over computers, they have not been able to build a computer that fast as small as our brain. . .  yet.

Less than forty years ago, we were wondering when the computer would be able to do a million operations a second. Less than three years ago we hailed the fastest computer for running teraflops (trillion floating point operations per second).

BTW, IBM's Watson, of Jeopardy fame, runs at a miserably slow speed of 80 teraflops.