Blink and miss computer finishing 1 quadrillion tasks
Scientists unveiled the world’s fastest supercomputer on Monday, a $100 million machine that performs 1 quadrillion calculations per second in a sustained exercise. The computer, nicknamed Roadrunner, is twice as fast as IBM’s Blue Gene system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which itself is three times faster than any of the world’s other supercomputers.
Scientists unveiled the world’s fastest supercomputer on Monday, a $100 million machine that performs 1 quadrillion calculations per second in a sustained exercise.
Engineers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory —the birthplace of the atomic bomb—and IBM Corp. conducted this technology breakthrough on a computer primarily used for nuclear weapons work. The supercomputer is now housed at the IBM research laboratory in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and will be moved next month to the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
Officials said the computer also could have a wide range of other applications in civilian engineering, medicine, and science, from developing biofuels and designing more fuel-efficient cars to finding drug therapies and providing services to the financial industry.
The computer, nicknamed Roadrunner, is twice as fast as IBM’s Blue Gene system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory , which itself is three times faster than any of the world’s other supercomputers.
As an indication of how fast this is, manufacturers explained that if 6 billion people were to do one equation per second on a calculator, it would take 46 years to do what RoadRunner could do in a day. The world's first supercomputer, the Cray 1 built in the mid-1970s, would take 1,500 years to finish a calculation that Roadrunner would perform in two hours.
IBM and Los Alamos engineers worked six years on the computer technology.
Some elements of the Roadrunner can be traced back to popular video games, said David Turek, vice president of IBM's supercomputing programs. In some ways, he said, it's "a very souped-up Sony PlayStation 3. "We took the basic chip design (of a PlayStation) and advanced its capability," Turek said.
But the Roadrunner supercomputer, named after the New Mexico state bird, is nothing like a video game.
The interconnecting system occupies 6,000 sq. ft with 57 miles of fiber optics and weighs 500,000 lbs. Although made from commercial parts, the computer consists of 6,948 dual-core computer chips and 12,960 cell engines, and it has 80 terabytes of memory housed in 288 connected refrigerator-sized racks.
Case Study Database
Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.
These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.
Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.
Annual Salary Survey
In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.
Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.