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20 Petaflops: New Supercomputer for Oak Ridge Facility to Regain Speed Lead Over the Chinese

PhysOrg.com (03/23/11) Bob Yirka

The U.S. Department of Energy has commissioned Titan, a supercomputer that is expected to achieve 20 petaflops per second, which would make it the fastest computer in the world. Last fall China’s National University of Defense team unveiled the Tianhe-1A, a machine capable of reaching a speed of 2.5 petaflops and is ranked first on the Top500 list. Cray Computer will build Titan, which will use XT3, 4, and 5 processor boxes and will be configured in a three-dimensional torus topology rather than as an array. Titan will use a Gemini XE interconnect, one of two new pieces of proprietary hardware that will be added to build the computer. The other is a graphics display unit co-processor, which will enable Titan to perform calculations more quickly. The computer also will use globally addressable memory, which will enable data to move through input and output channels without slowing down. Titan will join a collection of some of the fastest computers in the world at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and will be used to calculate complex energy systems. The project will cost approximately $100 million, with the first phase expected by the end of the year and the second phase to be completed in 2012.

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