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Supercomputers may reach 100-Petaflops by 2017

TACC Ranger Supercomputer

Image courtesy of TACC

Around this time last year, I was walking around the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) in Austin, TX. I was awed at the #9 fastest supercomputer at the time, Ranger (see photo). Ranger is a 579.4 teraflop computer. The fastest computer at the time was Jaguar, a Cray machine located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. It was capable of about 2.3 petaflops and only one year later, we had Tianhe in China that is capable of 4.7 petaflops. Now Jack Dongarra, a researcher at the University of Tennessee, predicts that we will have 100 petaflop systems by 2017. Dongarra says, “Everything is moving along according to Moore’s law, so things are doubling every 18 months, roughly.”

Argonne National Labs near Chicago, IL recently announced plans with IBM to build a 10 petaflop Blue Gene/Q cluster called Mira that should go online sometime in 2012. Mira will be around 20 times faster than their existing supercomputer named Intreped.

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