World’s fastest supercomputer models the unseen universe

via DVICE Atom Feed by Charlie White on 10/30/09

World's fastest supercomputer models the unseen universe

It’s hard to tell what the universe looks like, especially since it takes billions of years for the light from most of it to reach us. It’s even more difficult to visualize the 70% of the matter in the universe that’s invisible.

That’s why scientists bring out the heavy iron, IBM Roadrunner, the world’s fastest supercomputer, to simulate crazy stuff like dark energy and dark matter for us. It’s crunching through data simulating galaxies full of trillions of stars at a sustained speed of faster than one petaflop, or 1 quadrillion calculations per second.

The remarkable power of Roadrunner pushes computational throughput beyond anything ever used before by three orders of magnitude, according to scientists working on the Roadrunner Universe Model. The result is the best look we’ve ever had at the origins of the mysterious unseen universe. The images will get better — there’s a 20-petaflop computer coming in 2012.

Via HPC Wire

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Fujitsu rolls out Venus, world’s fastest processor

via DVICE Atom Feed by Charlie White on 5/14/09
Fujitsu rolls out Venus, world's fastest processor

Look out, Intel. Fujitsu just unleashed the fastest processor in the world, a startling 2.5 times quicker than Intel’s speediest chip. Supercomputer users will love “Venus,” the eight core processor that’s capable of 128 billion computations per second.

What all those numbers mean? While its 45-nanometer architecture doesn’t pack its components together as tightly as Intel’s latest 32-nanometer configuration, it accomplishes that world-record blistering speed while sipping one third the power of Intel’s flagship chip.

Alas, this monster processor is not for you and me — it’s destined for enormously expensive supercomputers doing high-end research, and won’t see practical application for “several years.” But its power and design gives us a sneak preview into what’s possible, and hints at Intel’s next move to answer Fujitsu’s slam-dunk.

Via CrunchGear