The Aggregate: University Of Kentucky Supercomputer Breaks The $1,000 Per GFLOPS Barrier

[ Thanks to Hank
for this link. ]

“Researchers at the University of Kentucky have constructed and
demonstrated an innovative new, scalable, parallel
supercomputer that achieves application performance of more than 1
billion floating point operations per second (GFLOPS) for every
$650 spent on building the machine.
The approach used to
design and build this machine makes it cost-effective for solving a
wide range of problems, from drug design using computational
chemistry to design of quieter printers using computational fluid
dynamics (CFD). Thus, this breakthrough is not only a milestone,
but also will enable many more scientists and engineers to use
computational models.”

“Less than a decade ago, a 1GFLOPS supercomputer cost millions
of dollars; the latest traditional supercomputers are closer to
$10,000 per GFLOPS. “Beowulfs,” clusters of PCs configured to work
together as a single supercomputer, have recently brought that cost
down to about $3,000 per GFLOPS. KLAT2, Kentucky Linux Athlon
Testbed 2 (http://aggregate.org/KLAT2/), improves upon the Beowulf
concept by using a variety of new technologies to make more
efficient use of commodity PC hardware — thus breaking the $1,000
per GFLOPS barrier.”

“To function as a supercomputer, the PCs within a cluster need
to be interconnected by a high-performance network. Instead of
expensive gigabit network hardware, KLAT2’s network uses lots of
cheap 100Mb/s Ethernet hardware in a new configuration called a
“Flat Neighborhood” network.”


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