It turns oyut that the worlds fastes super computer is a "Suped-UP" PS3

Take 13,000 tweaked Cell processors—yep, the same chip that powers the PlayStation 3—add 7,000 dual-core AMD
processors, mix in 80TB of memory, and you get Roadrunner, the new supercomputer capable of cranking out a quadrillion
calculations a second.

The AP reports that the newly unveiled Roadrunner, developed by researchers from IBM and the Los Alamos National
Laboratory and designed to simulate the effects of nuclear explosions, owes no small part of its jaw-dropping processing power
to the PS3's Cell processor.

Indeed, one of IBM engineers who helped develop Roadrunner called it a "souped-up PS3." Uh, no kidding.

The mammoth, $100 million supercomputer weighs 500,000 pounds, uses 57 miles of fiber optics and can match the computing
power of 100,000 fully loaded laptops, the AP notes.

Researchers zeroed in on the PS3's Cell processor early on for its ability to process multiple problems at once, according to
Popular Mechanics—an ability that helped Roadrunner achieve a staggering 1.026 quadrillion calculations a second, twice as
many as the former champ, IBM's Blue Gene.

So for you PS3 gamers out there, consider that the next time an Xbox 360 fanboy tries to kick sand in your face.

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YahooTech News
World's fastest super computer
Turns out worlds fastest computer is a "Suped-UP" PS3 Code name Roadrunner
Related:
Scientists develop fastest computer

WASHINGTON - Scientists unveiled the world's fastest supercomputer on Monday, a $100 million machine that for the first time
has performed 1,000 trillion calculations per second in a sustained exercise.

The technology breakthrough was accomplished by engineers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory and IBM Corp. on a
computer to be used primarily on nuclear weapons work, including simulating nuclear explosions.

The computer, named 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, according to IBM.

"The computer is a speed demon. It will allow us to solve tremendous problems," said Thomas D'Agostino, head of the National
Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees nuclear weapons research and maintains the warhead stockpile.

But 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.

To put the computer's speed in perspective, it has roughly the computing power of 100,000 of today's most powerful laptops
stacked 1.5 miles high, according to IBM. Or, if each of the world's 6 billion people worked on hand-held computers for 24 hours
a day, it would take them 46 years to do what the Roadrunner computer can do in a single day.

The 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," said Turek.

But the Roadrunner supercomputer, named after the New Mexico state bird, is nothing like a video game.

The interconnecting system occupies 6,000 square feet with 57 miles of fiber optics and weighs 500,000 pounds. 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.

The cost: $100 million.

Turek said the computer in a two-hour test on May 25 achieved a "petaflop" speed of sustained performance, something no
other computer had ever done. It did so again in several real applications involving classified nuclear weapons work this past
weekend.

"This is a huge and remarkable achievement," said Turek in a conference call with reporters.

A "flop" is an acronym meaning floating-point-operations per second. One petaflop is 1,000 trillion operations per second. Only
two years ago, there were no actual applications where a computer achieved 100 teraflops — a tenth of Roadrunner's speed —
said Turek, noting that the tenfold advancement came over a relatively short time.

The Roadrunner computer, now housed at the IBM research laboratory in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., will be moved next month to the
Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

Along with other supercomputers, it will be key "to assure the safety and security of our (weapons) stockpile," said D'Agostino.
With its extraordinary speed it will be able to simulate the performances of a warhead and help weapons scientists track warhead
aging, he said.

But the computer — and more so the technology that it represents — marks a future for a wide range of other research and
uses. "The technology will be pronounced in its employment across industry in the years to come," predicted Turek, the IBM
executive.

Michael Anastasio, director of the Los Alamos lab, said that for the first six months the computer will be used in unclassified work
including activities not related to the weapons program. After that, about three-fourths of the work will involve weapons and other
classified government activities.

Anastasio said the computer, in its unclassified applications, is expected to be used not only by Los Alamos scientists but others
as well. He said there can be broad applications such as helping to develop a vaccine for the HIV virus, examine the chemistry in
the production of cellulosic ethanol, or to understand the origins of the universe.

Turek said the computer represents still another breakthrough, particularly important in these days of expensive energy: It is an
energy miser compared with other supercomputers, performing 376 million calculations for every watt of electricity used.


IBM Corp.
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