$100 Million Supercomputer Breaks Petaflop Barrier, Supposed To Keep U.S. Nuclear Weapon Stockpiles Safe And Reliable, Eek!

June 10, 2008


The $100 Million Roadrunner supercomputer was designed and built by IBM for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration and is housed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. It was named Roadrunner before that's New Mexico's state bird and because they're fast. Also, Wile E. Coyote is a dipshit.

The Roadrunner is a hybrid machine, the world's first, that uses both traditional computer chips and the Cell Broadband Engine which was designed for the PS3. It occupies 6,000 square feet, weighs 500,000 lbs and delivers world-leading efficiency - 376 million calculations per watt. Roadrunner will be used primarily to ensure the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile (we're all gonna die!). It will also do research into astronomy, energy, human genome science and climate change.

It was the first to perform at a petaflop (one thousand trillion calculations per second), and would make a great secondary computer if I had room for it. Some interesting info from the press release:

In total, Roadrunner connects 6,948 dual-core AMD Opteron® chips (on IBM Model LS21 blade servers) as well as 12,960 Cell engines (on IBM Model QS22 blade servers). The Roadrunner system has 80 terabytes of memory, and is housed in 288 refrigerator-sized, IBM BladeCenter® racks occupying 6,000 square feet. Its 10,000 connections - both Infiniband and Gigabit Ethernet -- require 57 miles of fiber optic cable. Roadrunner weighs 500,000 lbs. Companies that contributed components and technology include; Emcore, Flextronics, Mellanox and Voltaire.

Well that's sweet and all, but the real question is this: Can it handle me watching four or five pornos, playing Crysis, and downloading some movies illegally all at the same time? Hah -- really? Well how about all those things AND writing a nasty email to an ex-girlfirend? Got you there you stupid Roadrunner! WILE E. COYOTE FOR THE -- goddammit.

A video about the computer after the jump, along with links to very in-depth and wordy articles about it.

Cell supercomputer breaks petaflop barrier
Government unveils world's fastest computer [cnn]

Thanks Ben and Peter, now lets go steal it so we can play some Crysis

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