Did you see the cost of building the LANL? $100 million and it runs at one petaflop (1000 trillion calculations per second)
"System Name Roadrunner
System Family IBM Cluster
System Model BladeCenter QS22 Cluster
Computer BladeCenter QS22/LS21 Cluster, PowerXCell 8i 3.2 Ghz / Opteron DC 1.8 GHz , Voltaire Infiniband
Application area Not Specified
Installation Year 2008
Operating System Linux
Processor PowerXCell 8i 3200 MHz (12.8 GFlops)
In 2006, the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration selected Los Alamos National Laboratory as the development site for Roadrunner and IBM as the computer’s designer and builder. Roadrunner, named after the New Mexico state bird, cost about $100 million, and was a three-phase project to deliver the world’s first “hybrid” supercomputer – one powerful enough to operate at one petaflop (one thousand trillion calculations per second). That’s twice as fast as the current No.1 rated IBM Blue Gene system at Lawrence Livermore National Lab – itself nearly three times faster than the leading contenders on the current TOP 500 list of worldwide supercomputers.
Roadrunner will primarily be used to ensure the safety and reliability of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile. It will also be used for research into astronomy, energy, human genome science and climate change.
Roadrunner is the world’s first hybrid supercomputer. In a first-of-a-kind design, the Cell Broadband Engine® -- originally designed for video game platforms such as the Sony Playstation 3® -- will work in conjunction with x86 processors from AMD
Made from Commercial Parts. In total, Roadrunner connects 6,562 dual-core AMD
Opteron® chips as well as 12,240 Cell chips (on IBM Model QS22 blade servers). The Roadrunner system has 98 terabytes of memory, and is housed in 278 refrigerator-sized, IBM BladeCenter® racks occupying 5,200 square feet. Its 10,000 connections – both Infiniband and Gigabit Ethernet -- require 55 miles of fiber optic cable. Roadrunner weighs 500,000 lbs. Companies that contributed components and technology include; Emcore, Flextronics, Mellanox and Voltaire.
Custom Configuration. Two IBM QS22 blade servers and one IBM LS21 blade server are combined into a specialized “tri-blade” configuration for Roadrunner. The machine is composed of a total of 3,060 tri-blades built in IBM’s Rochester, Minn. plant. Standard processing (e.g., file system I/O) is handled by the Opteron processors. Mathematically and CPU-intensive elements are directed to the Cell processors. Each tri-blade unit can run at 400 billion operations per second (400 Gigaflops).
The machine was built, tested and benchmarked in IBM’s Poughkeepsie, N.Y. plant, home of the ASCI series of supercomputers the company built for the US government in the late 1990s. IBM’s site in Rochester, Minn. constructed the specialized tri-blade servers. Software development was led by IBM engineers in Austin, Texas and by researchers in IBM’s Yorktown Heights, N.Y. research lab. Roadrunner will be loaded onto 21 tractor trailer trucks later this summer when it is delivered to Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico.
Roadrunner operates on open-source Linux software from Red Hat.
Energy Miser. Compared to most traditional supercomputer designs, Roadrunner’s hybrid format sips power (2.35 megawatts) and delivers world-leading efficiency – 437 million calculations per watt. IBM expects Roadrunner to place among the top energy-efficient systems later in June when the official “Green 500” list of supercomputers is issued.
IBM is developing new software to make Cell-powered hybrid computing broadly accessible. Roadrunner’s massive software effort targets commercial applications for hybrid supercomputing. With corporate and academic partners, IBM is developing an open-source ecosystem that will bring hybrid supercomputing to financial services, energy exploration and medical imaging industries among others.
Applications for Cell-based hybrid supercomputing include: calculating cause and effect in capital markets in real-time, supercomputers in financial services can instantly predict the ripple effect of a stock market change throughout the markets. In medicine, complex 3-D renderings of tissues and bone structures will happen in real-time, as patients are being examined. "
I wonder how it runs FS