Friday, July 24, 2009

Homemade supercomputer

Professor Joel Adams and his student, Tim Brom of Calvin College, USA, announced that it is possible to build a high performing supercomputer for a really low price (less than $2500.)

The device is called Microwulf and consists of 4 multi-core processors connected by gigabyte ethernet. These are all elements whose price is always decreasing.

In order to test the performance, they used the
“high performance Linpack” benchmark, which yielded a result of a maximum 26 Gigaflops. (…...The most powerful supercomputer today reaches 280 Teraflops, a number approximately 10,000 times larger. While the proposed system is not the most powerful, in terms of Gflops per dollar or per KW it is very efficient.

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middletoneric said...

I know this is about a year later, but my single quad-core PC pushes more then 41 gigaFLOPS on LINPACK when its running Windows. I could expect even more if I put Linux on there. This isn't a supercomputer, its simply a really cheap attempt at foolery.

atomico said...

The press release was from about 2007.
The performance is quite low by current standards, below is an excerpt of wikipedia regarding the performance of PC's as of 2010.

"As of 2010[update], the fastest PC processors six-core has a theoretical peak performance of 107.55 GFLOPS (Intel Core i7 980 XE) in double precision calculations. GPUs are considerably more powerful, for example, Nvidia Tesla C1060 GPU computing card performs around 933 GFLOPS in single precision calculations[11] while AMD's HemlockXT 5970 reaches 4.64 TFLOPS.[12] However, whereas GPUs are highly efficient at single precision calculations they are not nearly as fast in double precision (DP) operations with the same Nvidia Tesla C1060 capable of 78 GFLOPS in double precision [11] and the AMD Hemlock 5970 capable of 928 GFLOPS in double precision.[12]"