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Oct 31 2012   7:06PM GMT

And You Thought your Computer was Fast

Dave Bateman Dave Bateman Profile: Dave Bateman

It looks like there is a new king when it comes to the world’s fast computer. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) just deployed a computer called Titan that claims to be able to do 20,000 trillion calculations per second. I don’t know about you, but that blows my mind. If you are having trouble comprehending exactly how fast that is, think of it this way, if you could travel 20,000 trillion feet per second, you could go to the moon and back about eight times in one second.

When the Top500 super computer rankings come out in a few weeks, it is expected that Titian will be crowned the fastest and second place will go to the previous victor, Sequoia, which lives at Lawrence Livermore National Labs. This means that the US will hold the top two spots after years of competing closely with Japan and China. The Titian is made up of 18688 AMD 16-Core CPUs and 18688 NVIDIA Tesla GPUs. Combining the two types of processors together in a super computer has resulted in what is being referred to as a hybrid super computer. The result is a super computer that can run on a fraction of the power required by the traditional all CPU super computers. Of course, the term “fraction” is relative.The yearly power bill for this device will be about $10 million.

 

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