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Regional & National

Oak Ridge lab's computer is again world's fastest

November 12th, 2012 5:27 pm by Associated Press

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — The Oak Ridge National Laboratory says it again has the world’s fastest computer.


According to The Knoxville News Sentinel, the lab’s Cray XK7 dubbed Titan is No. 1 on the new Top 500 list released Monday at the Supercomputing Conference being held in Salt Lake City.


Titan achieved a sustained computing capability of 17.5 petaflops — or 17.5 million billion mathematical calculations per second — to qualify for the list. The Cray machine reportedly has a peak capability of more than 27 petaflops.


Jeff Nichols, ORNL’s scientific computing chief, stated in an email that the lab did not have time to fully optimize the computer before the benchmark tests, so there is room for even better performance.


This marks at least the fourth time that the Oak Ridge lab has the world’s fastest computer on its campus in East Tennessee.


The new $200 million machine was assembled in the 200 cabinets occupied by its predecessor, Jaguar, another Cray computer. Jaguar was labeled the world’s fastest supercomputer in 2009-2010. It was supplanted by Sequoia — an IBM Blue Gene/Q system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. That machine is now the second-fastest computer.


Previous ORNL computers that held the speed title were the Intel Paragon in 1995 and ORACLE in 1953.


The lab said Titan will be used for research on energy sources, climate change, efficient engines, materials and other scientific challenges.


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