Supercomputers are at the front line of current processing capacity among all the families of computers. They are used for highly intensive tasks such as quantum physics, weather forecasting, climate research and molecular modeling etc.
In November ’09 and October ’10 Jaguar topped the Top500 lists of world’s fastest supercomputers. But it was not until late October 2010 that Jaguar was dethroned by a Chinese supercomputer Tianhe-1A achieving 2.5 quadrillion calculations per second.
Now, after almost a year, the phoenix is going to rise out of the pyre; Jaguar is all set to become the most powerful supercomputer again.
As the resources say, Cray Inc. has signed a deal with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to refurbish the Department of Energy computer with thousands of graphics processors from NVIDIA as well as chips from Advanced Micro Devices. This overhaul will enable Jaguar to surpass current processing capacity of K computer — the world’s fastest supercomputer at the moment. This renewed Jaguar will then be given a new name; Titan.
Inclusion of GPUs from NIVIDIA will increase the processing and parallel computing ability of the supercomputers.
GPUs i.e. graphic processing units (also called visual processing units) are specialized circuits build to accelerate the process of building images in a frame buffer for output display. The highly parallel structure of modern GPUs make them more effective than general purpose CPUs. NIVIDIA Tesla GPUs are expected to enable 20-petaflop peak performance envisioned for Titan. Whereas processing of data will be managed by powerful AMD chips.
Though topping the charts in June 2010, Jaguar had already been dethroned technically by Chinese supercomputer called Nebulae. ORNL’s supercomputer labs are now looking forward to Titan to win them back; their lost elatedness.