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November 12, 2012

US Titan named world’s fastest supercomputer

Titan surpassed the earlier champion IBM's Sequoia

By CBR Staff Writer

The Titan supercomputer, a Cray XK7 system, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, US has been named as the world’s fastest supercomputer, according to TOP500 List.

Claimed to be ten times faster than its predecessor, the Jaguar, Titan is expected to offer maximised power to speed up scientific discoveries by implementing technologies first designed for video game systems including Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

TOP500 List revealed that Titan has achieved 17.59 Petaflop/s (quadrillions of calculations per second) on the Linpack benchmark test, which is the specific application deployed for ranking supercomputers.

US Department of Energy secretary Steven Chu said the nation that leads the world in high-performance computing will have an enormous competitive advantage across a broad range of sectors, including national defense, science and medicine, energy production, transmission and distribution, storm weather and climate prediction, finance, commercial product development, and manufacturing.

"Titan joins the Department’s top-ranking supercomputers in equipping our nation’s researchers with the tools needed to keep the United States on the cutting edge of innovation," Chu said.

Titan claims to offer a peak performance of about 20 petaflops or 20 million billion floating-point operations per second, with 90% support from 18,688 NVIDIA Tesla K20 GPU accelerators, with remaining generated from its pre-existing CPUs

Titan surpassed the earlier champion IBM’s Sequoia, which can be used for executing simulations that assist in extending life of nuclear weapons.

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Build based on the NVIDIA Kepler architecture, the supercomputer will be deployed for developing more energy-efficient engines for vehicles, replicate climate change and perform research on biofuels.

Nvidia has also released 70 applications that support GPU acceleration including ANSYS Fluent, MSC Nastran and CHARMM among several others.

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