World’s biggest computer

January 17th, 2007
supercomputer.jpg

Reading all about the World’s smallest computer and wall mounted computers made me think how does the world’s biggest computer look like.

Well that’s one question I haven’t find a answer to just yet. It seems that the World’s biggest computer is not build just yet but the project was won by IBM in September 2006. We’re talking about the supercomputer project for Los Alamos National Laboratory. Roadrunner, as the supercomputer was nicknamed is meant to perform one petaflop ( that’s 1 quadrillion, for those not familiar with Star Wars like slang) calculations per second, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has disposed a sum of $35 million for the first phase of the project.

The idea behind Roadrunner is to combine 16,000 AMD Opteron processor cores and over 16,000 Cell processors special designed by IBM, Sony and Toshiba to perform physics calculations for the Play Station 3 gaming platform, all that mounted on System x3755 servers with four Opteron processors apiece and IBM BladeCenter H servers with Cell-based systems.They will run using Linux (choke on it Bill) to assign the tasks to be processed to the part of the system that’s ready to handle it, this means that basic tasks can be handled by the Opteron processors and the more complicated mathematical problems will be solved by the Cell processors.

There are several issues to discuss such as the estimated $10 million in operating expenses just for electricity, but by now the project is well underway and we can expect to see the finished behemoth sometimes in the near future, for now the US Government will settle with the smaller brother, the IBM Blue Gene/L, located in the sister laboratory of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The Blue Gene can ‘only’ performs 280 trillion calculations per second, or 280 terraflops (for you to compare Roadrunner will be one quadruple times faster).






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Comments

  1. Angel Carmelo:

    Angel All Up On This.!!! I Think Those Are Just Lockers…! Hahaha They Dont Even Look Like Computers…!

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