LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico, October 26, 2009The world's fastest supercomputer, Roadrunner, at Los Alamos National Laboratory has completed its initial "shakedown" phase doing accelerated petascale computer modeling and simulations of a variety of unclassified, fundamental science projects.
The Roadrunner system is now beginning its transition to classified computing to assure the safety, security, and reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent.
Capitalizing on this national security investment, 10 unclassified projects were selected for this opportunity to use Roadrunner, a hybrid-architecture, 1.105 petaflop/s computing system, during a six-month period that ended in September 2009.
These projects were also used to put a "work load" on the Roadrunner system so that scientists could optimize the way large codes are able to run on the machine. The Roadrunner open science projects represent the best of science, and the value of enabling technologies at Los Alamos, and were selected from across the Laboratory by a special committee.
A sampling of the projects include:
About Roadrunner, the world's fastest supercomputer, first to break the petaflop barrier
On Memorial Day, May 26, 2008, the "Roadrunner" supercomputer exceeded a sustained speed of 1 petaflop/s, or 1 million billion calculations per second. "Petaflop/s" is computer jargonpeta signifying the number 1 followed by 15 zeros (sometimes called a quadrillion) and flop/s meaning "floating point operation per second." Shortly after that it was named the world's fastest supercomputer by the TOP500 organization at the June 2008 International Supercomputing Conference in Dresden, Germany.
The Roadrunner supercomputer, developed by IBM in partnership with the Laboratory and the National Nuclear Security Administration, will be used to perform advanced physics and predictive simulations in a classified mode to assure the safety, security, and reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent. The system will be used by scientists at the NNSA's Los Alamos, Sandia, and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories.
The secret to its record-breaking performance is a unique hybrid design. Each compute node in this cluster consists of two AMD Opteron dual-core processors plus four PowerXCell 8i processors used as computational accelerators. The accelerators used in Roadrunner are a special IBM-developed variant of the Cell processor used in the Sony PlayStation 3. The node-attached Cell accelerators are what make Roadrunner different than typical clusters.
Roadrunner is still currently the world's fastest with a speed of 1.105 petaflop/s per second, according to the TOP500 announcement at the November 2008 Supercomputing Conference in Austin Texas, and it again retained the #1 position at the June ISC09 conference.
|Contact: Kevin Roark|
DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory