Roadrunner breaks the Petaflop barrier

"It's a supercomputer"

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Roadrunner: 130,536 cores break the Petaflop barrier
I'm guessing that some of you may have been thinking what the hell!!! What does a bird famous for escaping from a Mr Wile.E. Coyote and his vast supply of ACME products have to do with  technology news? The answer - absolutely nothing. However, the Roadrunner I am referring to is the latest IBM supercomputer and it's to be delivered to the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The system was development over the past 18 months and is not only the first hybrid supercomputer using Cell processors, but also the first commercial system to exceed a performance of 1 PFlops. Below are some interesting facts and figures:
* The new Roadrunner according to IBM, was originally described to deliver about 2.8x (3.5x peak: 1.6 PFlops )
* The final system ended up with less processors – 13,896 Opteron cores (6948 dual-core processors) as well as 12,960 Cell BE chips with a total of 116,640 PPE and SPE cores for a combined 130,536 cores. The original design called for about 176,000 cores.
* According to IBM, Roadrunner has the floating point performance of about 100,000 notebooks. To describe the horsepower of the system... Roadrunner can do in one day what would take the entire population of the world 46 years on handheld calculators, assuming a pace of one second per calculation.
* Other interesting facts of the supercomputer, which IBM said cost about $100 million, include a power consumption of about 3.9 Mwatts, as well as a structure that includes 80 TB of memory, 576 miles of fiber optic cable as well as 3456 tri-blades which can deliver 400 GFlops each.
* Also noteworthy is that Roadrunner was supposed to become the flagship product of AMD’s Torrenza platform, a project which was pitched as an open AMD x86 platform that takes advantage of Direct Connect Architecture and the Hypertransport interface.
If you are as in awe of Roadrunner as I am then feel free to comment in our forum
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06-06-2008, 11:58:20

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