Today the fastest of the fastest will be chosen
The 17th International Supercomputer Conference is taking place in Heidelberg today. The fastest among the fast will also be chosen today. For three years, the supercomputer from IBM, the ASCI White, was the undisputed number one in the Top500.
With his 8,192 processors and a computing power of 7,226 gigaflops had no significant competition, the AlphaServer from Compaq, which was in second place, only achieved 4,059 gigaflops. IBM will probably hand this place over to NEC and its 'Earth Simulator' today, according to IBM director Ulla Thiel. Regarding the development of supercomputers, Ulla Thiel said that the development in terms of computing power is similar to that of normal PCs. In the supercomputer sector, the period in which, according to Moore's law, the computing power of microprocessors doubles is even shorter. The time span of 18 months for normal CPUs for supercomputers is clearly undercut by 12 months. A large part of the increase in speed is mainly due to the ever faster CPUs and the more efficient system architecture, Thiel continues. According to estimates by the IBM director, all supercomputers combined have a computing power of around 200 teraflops. If the computing power were to be transferred to people and their computing power, every person on earth would have to perform 125 computing operations in one second, and that would still only be computing power of just one teraflop.