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

May 23, 2000, 15:22 (3 Talkback[s])

[ Thanks to Hank Dietz 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."

Press Release