Why Supercomputing Matters

[ Thanks to Amy Newman for this link.

“Consider Knight’s Corner, which Intel showed off at
Supercomputing (SC) 11 in Seattle Washington earlier this month.
Initially announced in June, Intel unveiled the chip in silicon at
the computing show. Although an official general availability date
has not yet been set, the chips have made it to silicon and were
demoed. A single 22 nm chip delivers 1 teraflop of sustained
double-precision performance. That’s 1 trillion calculations per
second. (If you’re looking for a relative sense of size and speed,
this infographic offers a clear sense of scale.)

“This is not the first time Intel has delivered a 1 Tflop
system. Back in in 1997, it debuted ASCI Red at Sandia national
Labs — 9,298 Pentium 2 Xeon processors in servers spanning 72
cabinets consuming 800 Kw of power. Consider that the power of your
workstation (or even your smartphone) is as powerful as your
typical supercomputer was 15 years ago.”

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