Bow down to the Titan supercomputer, puny mortals. The Titan just earned the title for the world’s most powerful supercomputer, and it is not fucking around.
Built by Cray Inc., “the supercomputer company,” and Nvidia, the Titan is the result of $97 million worth of funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and a whole lot of ambition. The machine’s specifications reflect as much. Built by the geniuses at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Titan contains over 18,688 processing units—each one contains both an Advanced Micro Devices 16-core Opteron 6274 CPU and an Nvidia Tesla K20 graphic processing unit—and 700 terabytes of memory, all contained in 200 server cabinets. All that enabled the machine to clock in at 17.59 sustained petaflops in the test for the biannual TOP500 list. One petaflop is equivalent to a quadrillion calculations per second. With 15 zeroes, one quadrillion is a very large number.
The Titan beat out the Sequoia for the title of the world’s most powerful computer in the latest TOP500 list. The comparatively puny Sequoia can only pull off 16.32 petaflops, whereas the Jaguar supercomputer, the Titan’s predecessor, is one tenth as powerful.