Everybody loves a swirly straw, even forming galaxies.
Technology is obviously catching up to our current definition of "supercomputer." I mean, when someone can just buy 64 Raspberry Pi computers, get them all talking to each other in a framework built out of Lego, and then call that "super," it sure seems like we need a new word for these things, doesn't it?
By 2024, the largest radio telescope ever will dot the landscape of either Australia or South Africa with thousands of antennae spread out over 2,000 miles. The Square Kilometre Array will record the equivalent of an Internet's worth of data twice a day, and IBM is building a computer that can handle it all.
Computers are fast. What isn't as fast is miles and miles of wiring, and when you've got a huge data center with hundred or thousands of computers all trying to talk to each other, it's usually the connections between them that's the slowest part of the system. Solution? Go wireless, and bounce it off the ceiling instead.
Every six months, a new list of the top 500 fastest supecomputers in the world comes out, and today was the day. The big news is that we've cracked 10 petaflops, but compared to six months ago, the list itself will probably surprise you.
A new Japanese supercomputer has just become the fastest computer on Earth. And it didn't just squeak by into the top spot: it beat the 2nd fastest computer on Earth by being three times faster. Holy smokes.
There's a continual race between nations to have the fastest supercomputer, but besides vague long-term things like climate modeling or nuclear warhead stability, it's sometimes hard to see the results of all this computing power. Finally, a supercomputer has done something useful, and figured out how to save truckers fuel.
Watch your back, Ken Jennings: a supercomputer is gunning for your crown as the greatest Jeopardy player ever. And it'll have its chance in February. (It's about time, too.)
Intel, DARPA, and the San Diego Supercomputer Center have launched an eight year project to create the most powerful computer ever constructed. By 2018, the extreme scale supercomputer will be running exaflop-level calculations: that's a million trillion operations every second, or about a thousand times faster than the fastest supercomputer we've got today.
China is catching up to the world kiddies. First, they want to build their own space station and now they are claiming to have the world's fastest supercomputer? It's nice to know that the land of knock-offs isn't simply building the next iPhone rip-off and actually making strides in computing.