American Live Wire staff members all wish they had the world’s fastest computer. Unfortunately for them, the fastest computer is in The Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in the U.S. Having overtaken New Mexico’s Roadrunner (which was dismantled less than a year ago), Tennessee’s Titan is the current speed champion. It has been clocked in at 17.59 petaflops per second. Mathematically-speaking, 1 petaflop is equivalent to 10^15/1,000,000,000,000,000/1 quadrillion calculations per second.
Constructed by Cray, this computer system consists of 18,688 nodes. Each node contains a Nividia Tesla GPU and a 16-core AMD Opteron processor. It monitors weapons, assisted in mapping the HIV genetic tree and even simulated the “Big Bang” in order to help scientists better understand dark matter. This required “calculating the physics behind 64 billion proto-galaxies”, each approximately the size of a billion of Earth’s suns.
(Image courtesy of OlcfOrnl )