Thursday, September 07, 2006

Som Tek Nooz

One petaflop.
It sounds like a tropical plant.
Or a skateboard trick.
But that is not what it is.
It is unit of measure for computer performance.
It stands for 1,000 trillion calculations per second, or one petaflop.
That would be 1 quadrillion calculations per second.
That would be fast.

Just so you can have some more data to forget when you need it, after quadrillion, the number names go like this,
Quintrillion
Sextillion
Septillion
Octillion
Nonillion
Decillion
Undecillion
Duodecillion
Tredecillion
Quattuordecillion
Quindecillion
Sexdecillion
Septendecillion
Octodecillion
Novemdecillion
Vigintillion
Googol

Back to the petaflop.
It was announced this week that IBM is going to build a supercomputer that can perform 1.6 petaflops per second on a sustained basis.
Interestingly, the “computer” will be a collection of “off the shelf” rack-mount servers.
The computer(s) will be running Red Hat Linux version 4.3 (sorry Micro$soft), and use 16,000 AMD Opteron processors (sorry Intel).
The computer will use 4,000 IBM System x 3755 systems with 8,000 IBM BladeCenter H system cards with two Cell Broadband Engine CPUs on them.
The Cell Broadband Engine is the new 64-bit 8-core processor chip developed jointly by IBM, Sony, and Toshiba.


Each of the x3755 systems have FOUR Opteron processors in them and can address up to 128 Gb of RAM. (!) They look like this - (liik yoo kaer)

They will doo the switching and breakdown of the complex equations coming into the system.



Each of the BladeCenter H system cards have two Cell B.E. processors in them and can address up to 16Gb of RAM. They lok liik this -











It will be called “Roadrunner” (Meep! Meep!)

Maintain the 180.

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