Former World’s Fastest Supercomputer Of 2009 Now To Be Decommissioned

/ 4 years ago

IBM’s Roadrunner which at one time held #1 spot in Top 500 Supercomputer list in June 2008, November 2008 and June 2009 will now be decommissioned. IBM built this super computer 5 years ago to model the decay of United States’ arsenal of Nuclear Weapons and had the power to do 1 quadrillion floating point operations per second and currently in Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Library, New Mexico.

Roadrunner uses 296 server racks, using 122,400 processing cores with the combination of IBM’s PowerXCell 8i and AMD Opteron dual-core processors. and occupying 6,000 Square feet, the total cost was more than $120 Million. AMD’s Opteron were used for “basic” tasks, but IBM’s PoweXCell were used as a “computational accelerator” as it was handling most intense part of the calculations.

Los Alamos lab said in an announcement “During its five operational years, Roadrunner, part of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) program to provide key computer simulations for the Stockpile Stewardship Program, was a workhorse system providing computing power for stewardship of the US nuclear deterrent, and in its early shakedown phase, a wide variety of unclassified science.”

It should be noted that although it doesn’t hold the #1 spot, it still is one of 22 fastest Super computers in the world, however the power consumption of Roadrunner is not very energy efficient, thus the reason of being taken offline.The former world’s #1 supercomputer “Roadrunner” will first be studied for sometime before its being dismantled.

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Los Alamos added,””Future supercomputers will need to improve on Roadrunner’s energy efficiency to make the power bill affordable. Future supercomputers will also need new solutions for handling and storing the vast amounts of data involved in such massive calculations.”

Source: ArsTechnica

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  • They had to retire it now because if they waited another year the next Samsung Galaxy S cellphone would’ve been more powerful such is the rapid advancement of computers.