Just for a moment, take into consideration that in the 1950s, it would have taken a supercomputer of this size just to power your cellphone. And that much computing power might have even been a stretch. Today at the Annual Meeting of National High Performance Computing (HPC China 2010) in Beijing, the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) in China unveiled the Tianhe-1A, now the fastest supercomputer in the world.
Tianhe-1A uses 7,168 Nvidia Tesla M2050 GPUs and 14,336 Intel Xeon CPUs to produce 2.507 petaflops of computing power. The $88 million computer’s 103 cabinets weigh 155 tons, and consumes 4.04 megawatts of electricity. The previous record holding supercomputer, Cray XT5 Jaguar, held at the U.S. National Center for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratories, produced 1.75 petaflops with 224,162 Opteron CPUs. Nvidia says that Tianhe-1A will be used as an open access system to use for large scale scientific computations.