Wednesday, June 21, 2006

speed records

A couple of news articles popped up during the past couple of days about new processors and speed records. It looks like faster times are ahead of us.

Riken() has developed a supercomputer that it says achieves maximum theoretical performance of 1 petaflops (1,000 teraflops). Though the special-purpose machine does not run Linpack, the benchmark software used for the Top 500 supercomputer ranking, its theoretical performance is nearly three times that of the top-ranked BlueGene/L installed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Intel K.K. (Intel Corp.'s Japanese unit) and NEC subsidiary SGI Japan Ltd. collaborated with Riken on development of the system, which was designed as a dedicated machine for molecular dynamics simulation. The supercomputer is installed at Riken's Yokohama Institute, and Riken plans to show it off at an open house scheduled for Saturday (June 24).

IBM Corp. and the Georgia Institute of Technology Tuesday claimed they have broken the silicon speed record, thanks in part to a "frozen chip."

IBM and Georgia Tech claimed that they have demonstrated the first silicon-based chip capable of operating at frequencies above 500 GHz by cryogenically "freezing" the circuit to minus 451 degrees Fahrenheit (4.5 Kelvins).

By comparison, 500 GHz is more than 250 times faster than today's cell phones, which typically operate at approximately 2 GHz, according to the organizations.

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