A CDE Definition
(Accelerated Strategic Computing White) A supercomputer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory that was the fastest computer in the world when introduced in 2001. Used for weapons research, it was developed by IBM and made up of 512 16-way IBM RS/6000 computer systems. Its 8,192 processors provide 12.3 teraFLOPS of computing. Using 6TB of RAM and 160TB of disk space, ASC White (formerly ASCI White) is made from standard, off-the-shelf components.
Records Don't Hold for Long!
In 2005, the ASC Purple with 12,000 processors and a theoretical peak capacity of 93 teraFLOPS came online at Livermore. Even more amazing, so did a new machine called the Blue Gene/L, weighing in with 130,000 processors and an actual processing capacity of 270 teraFLOPS! Like the ASC White, the ASC Purple was slated to perform nuclear weapon simulations, while the Blue Gene/L was intended to study the behavior and movement of atomic molecules. See supercomputer sites.
A compilation of the 500 most powerful computers and their installations was started in 1993 and is updated twice a year. Created to track high-performance computing systems and detect trends, the TOP500 uses the Linpack benchmark to rank the computers. To view the list, which includes system specifications, visit www.top500.org.
In 2008, IBM's Roadrunner was the first computer to exceed one petaFLOPS (see Roadrunner). In 2010, China's Tianhe-1A supercomputer claimed the top speed with 2.4 petaFLOPS. Meaning "Milky Way," the Tianhe-1A was built with 14,336 Intel CPUs and 7,168 NVIDIA GPUs, along with a Chinese-developed interconnect to achieve 2.4 quadrillion floating point calculations per second (FLOPs).
Ten Million Processing Cores
In 2016, China's Sunway TaihuLight used 40,960 Chinese ShenWei RISC processors, each containing 256 cores, to achieve 93 petaFLOPS (125 at peak performance). See petaFLOPS and supercomputer.
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