Roadrunner Supercomputer Breaks Petaflop Barrier

jammin - June 9, 2008 08:40AM in CPU's

IBM is certainly no slouch when it comes to putting together some of the most powerful supercomputers. The company's Blue Gene/L is current holder of the supercomputing top spot, crunching at a speed of 478.2 teraflops (trillions of calculations per second), using a whopping 212,992 processors. As it is with technology, the world of supercomputers also moves at a blistering pace and IBM has managed to break the petaflop barrier with its new machine, codenamed 'Roadrunner'. It does this mainly thanks to a hybrid design which uses both regular processors and more than 12,000 cell processors, the chip that was designed to power the PS3. This means that Roadrunner is twice as powerful as Blue Gene/L while using less than 20,000 chips in total. Notably, other supercomputer companies Sun and Cray both have petaflop machines in the pipeline.