Supercomputers aren’t what they used to be. The Chinese are building a supercomputer with their own microprocessors, shunning American chip giants Intel and AMD. The Spanish are building one with cellphone chips.
And this week, the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) officially
plugged in the first supercomputer that uses flash storage rather than
good old-fashioned spinning disks.
Gordon uses 300 terabytes of flash, spanning 1,024 high-performance
Intel 710 series drives, and the system includes new software designed
to aggregate resources from multiple physical server nodes into
“super-nodes,” so users have immediate access to data, rather than
waiting for the system to access particular drives. Allan Snavely, the
SDSC’s associate director, sees this as the world’s largest thumb drive.
Flash memory is stuff used not only in USB thumb drives but cell phones
and digital cameras.
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