What does it take to be the world’s most powerful computer? Is it still the towering colossus of a machine like that of Deep Thought from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, or can it fit in a normal office building?
Well the United State’s Department of Energy can tell you exactly, since they now house the device holding this title in their Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.
With a name like Titan, it seems very appropriate for this supercomputer to hold the number one position in the Top500 list. This amazing machine was created by Cray Inc., whose HQ is located in Seattle, WA, and it just beat out Sequoia which is now the second-most powerful supercomputer built by IBM.
IBM managed to hold this title for about 6 months before Cray came up and snatched it away.
The Titan does actually fit into a single room, even though it is made up of 710 terabytes (780,653,255,720,898.5 bytes) of memory, 18,688 processing nodes, nearly 300,000 AMD Opteron 6200 series cores, and over 261,000 Nvidia K20x accelerator cores! All of that hardware mumbo-jumbo allows the Titan to hit a record 17.59 petaflops in performance, meaning it can calculate over 17 quadrillion operations per second. After all is said and done, this is another win for the United States as half of the top 10 most powerful supercomputers are now located within their borders.
What do you think could be solved using the Titan’s massive computer brain?