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Thursday, 24 March 2011 11:12

US wants to be the number one supercomputer again

Written by Nick Farell


Titan could top the charts
After losing the crown for the most powerful supercomputer in the world to China, the US is trying to get it back with a new project called Titan.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) campus in Oak Ridge Tennessee will host "Titan" which has been commissioned by the US Department of Energy, and is expected to achieve speeds of 20 petaflops per second.

Built by Cray Computer, it will become part of a collection of some of the fastest computers in the world at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory site. There are already Gaea, Kraken and the Jaguar super computers working from the site, Apparently plans are in the works for an entirely new facility to be built over the next year, which should fit in well with the delivery date for the first stage of the Titan expected to be by the end of this year, with the second stage expected next year.

Titan uses XT3, 4 and 5 processor boxes with a "Gemini" XE interconnect, and it will be configured in a 3D torus topology, rather than the usual array. It will use a GDU co-processor probably from Nvidia that will help to perform calculations more quickly. Titan will also use what is being described as “globally addressable memory,” which means data won’t have to slow down as it passes through I/O channels. It will set the government back to the tune of $100 million and will be used by the Department of Energy to calculate complex energy systems.

Nick Farell

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