Supercomputers are essential for some purposes, and they can live or die based on their speed and general capabilities with that speed. Two companies, IBM and Cray, have gained a reputation for being the masters of insane speeds.
Today, Cray announced their latest entry into the fold - a computer identified as the XC30, but previously codenamed 'Cascade'. It should be a little bit more than 'quick', being able to take on work measuring more than 100 petaflops and handle it without bursting into flames. A number of different places have signed contracts to pick up some XC30s, including:
- The Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) in Lugano, Switzerland
- The Pawsey Centre in Perth, Australia, owned by CSIRO and operated by iVEC
- The Finnish IT Center for Science Ltd. (CSC)
- The Department of Energy's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) in Berkeley, Calif.
- The Academic Center for Computing and Media Studies (ACCMS) at Kyoto University in Kyoto, Japan
- The University of Stuttgart's High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS) in Germany
Take notice of the Department of Energy, in Berkeley, California. Supercomputers are in the lifeblood of Berkeley, for the first successful model, the CDC-6600, has resided here since 1964. 100 petaflops is a crazy amount of computing, and no doubt some enterprising genius will find a way to juice some more from the system. IBM's monstrous Sequoia is still king of the hill, but Cray isn't lagging too far behind.