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Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Supercomputers - are You up to date?

I was blissfully unaware of Supercomputers until I read this article. Of course, I always wondered, but I was never really aware of them. Apparently, most countries have them - even New Zealand, but their units are very slow, at between 26.4 and 31.527 teraflops, compared to others! What is a teraflop?

I was blissfully unaware of a 'teraflop', and the somewhat (10 times) faster 'petaflop', until this morning. These weird names describe the speed of a Supercomputer. Beats my little Acer Laptop.

I was also blissfully unaware of the fact that a Supercomputer could calculate in one second, what it would take a PC over 10 hours to achieve - (not with me driving)! Or, in one day, what it would take over 100 years for a PC to calculate! Of course, that does not allow for some coffee breaks, nor does it allow for interruptions to one's USB Stick connection.

But don't worry, there are alternatives to a Supercomputer - lots of people with lots of computers.




Sphinx said...

Now here's a reason to be glad I'm getting old! I will never have a supercomputer as my desktop... but my grandson might.

Really, petaflops and teraflops? These sound like badly performed dives.

Roberto said...

Yes, Sphinx, there's no chance of ever having one of these at home - for you, your grandson or even his kids, though I agree, it does beggar belief, the names they come up with for capacity.