Oak Ridge unveils Titan, the world’s most powerful supercomputer

The GPU technology is also likely to find its way into consumer graphics cards in the future

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has just introduced Titan, the world’s most powerful supercomputer. The size of a basketball court and using enough power to run a small town, the water-cooled circuits of Titan are capable of 20 petaflops or 20,000 trillion calculations per second. This makes Titan ten times more powerful than ORNL’s previous computer, Jaguar and 20 trillion times more than the average PC. What’s more, it achieves this through components originally created for gaming computers.

Also known as the Cray XK7 system, Titan has 18,688 nodes. Each of these consists of a 16-core AMD Opteron 6274 processor and an NVIDIA Tesla K20 graphics processing unit (GPU) accelerator. It also has 700 terabytes of memory.

GPUs are designed to handle computations simultaneously at high speed and make excellent supercomputer components. The 299,008 CPU cores in Titan are used to guide the simulations, while the GPUs do the brute-force number crunching.

“One challenge in supercomputers today is power consumption,” said Jeff Nichols, associate laboratory director for computing and computational sciences. “Combining GPUs and CPUs in a single system requires less power than CPUs alone and is a responsible move toward lowering our carbon footprint. Titan will provide unprecedented computing power for research in energy, climate change, materials and other disciplines to enable scientific leadership.”

Read more . . .

via Gizmag – David Szondy

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