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NVIDIA Tesla chips to help power fastest super computer

A project that will result in the creation of the world's fastest super computer will be built with NVIDIA-based chips powering most of the device. NVIDIA's press release this morning states that its Tesla chips will be used in Titan, the Cray XK6 machine that's being built at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The super computer, which will be used by the US Department of Energy, will be over twice as fast than the current super computer champion, the K machine in Japan. AllThingsD.com reports that 85 percent of the Titan will be powered by NVIDIA's Tesla chips with the other 15 percent handled by CPUs made by AMD. The super computer will be used for a variety of projects relating to "material science, energy technology, medical research, geoscience, and others."

The Tesla GPUs are being used inside the Titan for two reasons; one is that they are better in handling the power requirements than conventional CPUs from Intel and AMD; NVIDIA says that the Titan will be up to three times more power efficient than Japan's K super computer. The other is that Tesla GPUs can handle floating point operations better than CPUs. The total amount of computing power that the Titan will generate will be a massive 20 petaFLOPS.

The Titan is currently being built at Oak Ridge at first by upgrading its current Jaguar super computer with 960 Tesla GPUs with the AMD multi-core CPUs. In 2012, Oak Ridge will install up to 18,000 Tesla GPUs in the final phase of the project.

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