Life Of Navin

Random Musings, Random Bullshit.


Beep Beep!! Roadrunner Goes Petaflop!!

Roadrunner, IBM's supercomputer, built with components designed for the PS3 has set a new computing milestone. The magical machine has set PetaFlop speeds, the equivalent of one thousand trillion calculations per second. The benchmark means the computer is twice as nimble as the current world's fastest machine, BlueGene/L at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California which runs at less than half a Petaflop (478.2 teraflops using 212,992 processors)!!

By comparison, Roadrunner will use fewer than 20,000 chips. This is because the new computer is based on a hybrid design, using both conventional supercomputer processors and a powerful cell-chip designed for the PS3. Sorry for the Coyote by the way......

IBM has characterized Roadrunner's thirst for energy (3.9 megawatts) as miserly, noting that at 376 million calculations per watt, it's likely to rank at the top of the Green 500 list of energy-efficient supercomputers, when that list is updated later this month. IBM's Blue Gene holds first place on the February 2008 Green 500 list, with 357.23 million calculations per watt.

It would take 100,000 of today's fastest laptops -- which would reach 1.5 miles into the sky if you're the stacking sort -- to equal Roadrunner's computational power.

The eight-core chip runs at speeds greater than 4 GHz and was designed by a a group of companies including IBM, Toshiba and of course Sony. Roadrunner packs more than 12,000 of the processors known as "accelerators" on top of nearly 7,000 standard processors.

It will now be disassembled and moved to New Mexico where it will be housed in 288 refrigerator-sized cases connected by 57 miles of fibre optic cable!!

It seems to be a good month for Supercomputer enthusiasts, with a 150 year old supercomputer being brought to life, and before that NASA deciding to climb onboard the Petaflop express, and now this. Amazing huh?? But the good news just gets better:

IBM currently has another petaflop machine in the pipeline based on its Blue Gene/P technology.

When finished, Blue Gene/P will be the world's fastest commercial supercomputer.

Below is a list of the Top 5 fastest Supercomputers (not updated after Roadrunner)

  • Blue Gene/L, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California. (478.2 teraflops; 212, 992 processors)
  • Blue Gene/P, Forschungszentrum Juelich, Germany. (167.3 teraflops; 65536 processors)
  • SGI Altix ICE 8200, SGI/New Mexico Computing Applications Center, Wisconsin, US. (126.9 teraflops; 14336 processors)
  • EKA - Cluster Platform 3000 BL460c, Computational Research Laboratories, Pune, India. (117.9 teraflops; 14240 processors)
  • Cluster Platform 3000 BL460c, government agency, Sweden. (102.8 teraflops; 13728 processors)

We are getting closer to simulating the real world --Bijan Davari, VP of next- gen computing, IBM



Finally after all these years, here's to the beginning of what was there, what is there and hopefully what will remain!! So here are my thoughts & words -Online!!

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