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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Computer "Monsters"

Suppose you read the title and you ask yourself "computer monsters?", well there are certain machines out there you would really consider a monster. Now a monster could be a good or bad thing, especially if this "monster" is on your side. There are many internet users today and many arguments that decide what a "monster" computer really is. For example, take the Jaguar supercomputer built by Cray at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. It has a peak performance of just over 1,750 teraflops (1.75 petaFLOPS) combining 224,256 x86-based AMD Opteron processor cores operating with a version of Linux called Cray Linux Environment. In June 2010, TOP500, the semiannual list of the world's top 500 supercomputers, named Jaguar as the world's fastest computer.

In late October the same year, the BBC reported that the Chinese supercomputer named Tianhe-1A had taken over the top spot, achieving a trillion calculations per second (or 2.507 petaFLOPS). The system is composed of 112 computer cabinets, 12 storage cabinets, 6 communications cabinets, and 8 I/O cabinets. Each computer cabinet is composed of four frames, with each frame containing eight blades, plus a 16-port switching board. The system has 3584 total blades containing 7168 GPUs, and 14,336 CPUs. Each blade is composed of two computer nodes, with each node containing two Xeon X5670 6-core processors and one Nvidia M2050 GPU processor. The total disk storage of the systems is 2 Petabytes implemented as a Lustre clustered file system, and the total memory size of the system is 262 Terabytes.

The computer had cost $88 million to build and around $20 million annually for costs involving energy intake and operating costs. It also has to have 200 workers in order to have it operate and function properly. Now that is a monster!

1 comment:

  1. I'd wait till the handheld wars starts heating up and spilling over into notebook/tablets. But that'll be a while down the road. ARM vs. Intel + MoS manufacturing + tons of other shit = awesomeness.