Supercomputing is moving into the commercial realm as nearly half the
machines on this year's list of the fastest computers were built from
clusters of cheaper, off-the-shelf processors, including the new No. 3, a
supercomputer assembled with 1,100 Apple PCs.
*** ia Tech researchers and students assembled the supercomputer with new
Macintosh (news - web sites) G5 processors and assembled it in less than a
month. It is now the world's third-fastest machine, according to computer
experts meeting this week in Arizona.
Clocked at 10.3 trillion operations per second, the cluster of G5 Power Macs
is the first Apple Computer Inc.-based system to rank among the speediest.
It's also one of the cheapest. The homemade system, named "X" by Tech to
celebrate its performance of more than 10 teraflops, cost about $7 million
to build and maintain. Traditional supercomputers can run in the hundreds of
millions of dollars.