6 most expensive supercomputers, which amaze with their power
The first Atlas supercomputer appeared in the early 60s and was installed at the University of Manchester. It was at times less powerful than modern home computers. In our review, collected “a dozen” of the most powerful in the history of supercomputers. True, due to the rapidly developing technologies in this field, these powerful machines become obsolete in an average of 5 years.
The performance of modern supercomputers is measured in petaflops, a unit of measure that shows how many operations with a floating point per second a computer performs. Today we will focus on the ten most expensive modern supercomputers.
1. IBM Roadrunner (USA)
$ 130 million
Roadrunner was built by IBM in 2008 for the National Laboratory in Los Alamos (New Mexico, USA). It became the first computer in the world, whose average working performance exceeded 1 petaflops. However, it was designed for a maximum performance of 1.7 petaflops. According to the Supermicro Green500 list, in 2008, Roadrunner was the fourth most energy efficient supercomputer in the world. Roadrunner was written off on March 31, 2013, after which it was replaced with a smaller and more energy efficient supercomputer called Cielo.
2. Vulcan BlueGene / Q (US)
$ 100 million
Vulcan is a supercomputer with 24 stand-alone units that was created by IBM for the Department of Energy and installed in the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California. It has a peak performance of 5 petaflops and is currently the ninth fastest supercomputer in the world. Vulcan entered service in 2013 and is now used by the Livermore National Laboratory for research in the fields of biology, plasma physics, climate names, molecular systems, etc.
3. SuperMUC (Germany)
$ 111 million
SuperMUC is currently the 14th fastest supercomputer in the world. In 2013, it was the 10th, but the development of technology does not stand still. However, it is currently the second fastest supercomputer in Germany. SuperMUC is run by the Leibniz Supercomputer Center at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences near Munich.
The system was created by IBM, runs on the Linux shell, contains more than 19,000 Intel and Westmere-EX processors, and also has a peak performance of just over 3 petaflops. SuperMUC is used by European researchers in the fields of medicine, astrophysics, quantum chromodynamics, computational fluid dynamics, computational chemistry, genome analysis, and earthquake simulation.
4. Trinity (USA)
$ 174 million
One would expect that such a supercomputer (considering what it is built for) should be incredibly expensive, but thanks to the development of technology, it became possible to reduce the price of Trinity. The US government is going to use Trinity to maintain the effectiveness and safety of America’s nuclear arsenal.
Trinity, which is currently under construction, will be a joint project of the Sandia National Laboratory and the Los Alamos National Laboratory as part of the Predictive Modeling and Computational Data Processing Program of the National Nuclear Security Administration.
5. Sequoia BlueGene / Q (US)
$ 250 million
The BlueGene / Q-class Sequoia supercomputer was developed by IBM for the National Nuclear Security Administration, as part of the Predictive Modeling and Computational Data Processing program. It was commissioned in June 2012 at the Livermore National Laboratory and at that time became the fastest supercomputer in the world. He now ranks third in the world in speed (the theoretical peak of Sequoia’s performance is 20 petaflops or 20 trillion calculations per second).
Stable computer runs at 10 petaflops. Used by Sequoia to support various scientific applications, the study of astronomy, energy, the human genome, climate change and the development of nuclear weapons.
6. ASC Purple and BlueGene / L (USA)
$ 290 million
These two supercomputers worked together. They were built by IBM and installed in 2005 at the Livermore National Laboratory. They were decommissioned in 2010. At the time of its creation, ASC Purple occupied the 66th place in speed in the list of the top 500 supercomputers, and BlueGene / L was the previous generation of the BlueGene / Q model.
ASCI Purple was built for the fifth phase of the Predictive Modeling and Computational Data Processing Program of the US Department of Energy, as well as the National Nuclear Security Administration. His goal was to simulate and replace real tests of weapons of mass destruction. BlueGene / L used to predict global change.