[ExI] The Jaguar Supercomputer

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Tue Nov 17 09:22:13 UTC 2009

On Tue, Nov 17, 2009 at 01:18:28AM -0500, John Clark wrote:

> Right now the most powerful computer on the planet is the Jaguar XT5 
> at Oak Ridge Tennessee, it can perform 1.759 quadrillion calculations 

All thanks to the Cell CPU. The Opterons don't really register.

> (petaflops) per second. I like the fact that unlike many previous winners 
> of the number one spot Jaguar is not working on classified projects but 

What, an Oak Ridge iron doesn't do classified projects? You sure about that?

> is an open science machine. However it's not likely to retain its crown 
> for long, for reasons that I don't entirely understand the speed of the 
> very fastest computers has been advancing even faster than Moore's Law. 

Ability to run LINPACK is not equivalent to overall speed. Moore has nothing
to do with performance, it is all about integration density and price.

But you knew that already, and just wanted to practice your mantra, right?

> For the last 5 years the speed of the fastest computer on Earth has 
> doubled every 9 months 

Apart from economies of scale and advances in cooling this is what happens 
if you start rearranging the existing transistors into something marginally 
more efficient -- see CUDA and Cell for examples, all mainstream architectures
derived from consumer systems. 

> and there is no slowdown in sight.

The wall is never there, until you run into it at Mach 6. Oops.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
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