Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Road Runner-the world´s fastest super computer.......


Less than a week after Los Alamos National Laboratory's Roadrunner supercomputer began operating at world-record petaflop-per-second data-processing speeds, Los Alamos researchers are already using the computer to mimic extremely complex neurological processes.

The prefix "peta" stands for a million billion, also known as a quadrillion. For the Roadrunner supercomputer, operating at petaflop/s performance means the machine can process a million billion calculations each second. In other words, Roadrunner ¨gives scientists the ability to quickly render mountainous problems into mere molehills, or model systems that previously were unthinkably complex.¨

Late last week and early this week while verifying Roadrunner's performance, Los Alamos and IBM researchers used three different computational codes to test the machine. Among those codes was one dubbed "PetaVision" by its developers and the research team using it.

To date, computers have been unable to match human performance on such visual tasks as flawlessly detecting an oncoming automobile on the highway or distinguishing a friend from a stranger in a crowd of people. ¨Roadrunner is now changing the game.¨

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