Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Titan - The Fastest Science Machine In The World

Few weeks ago, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) launched fastest science machine ever named as Titan. Titan, a 20-petaflop machine has been predicted to replace Sequoia- a similar invention by Lawrence Livermore national Labs.

This advanced computing machine can benefit the field of science greatly by coping up with complex data sets in the six major domains of science. These domains include Materials Science, astrophysics, Climate change, Combustion, Nuclear Energy Systems as well as bio-fuels. Another interesting feature of Titan is its Graphics processing Units (GPUs) along with the conventional central processing unit (CPU) found in other supercomputers. The perfect contrast of CPU and GPU can certainly revolutionize the future of supercomputing for researchers and scientists, enabling them to come up with great inventions even better than the existing Titan.

Steve Scott, chief technology officer for Tesla (business partner of NVIDIA for providing GPUs) declares that “Titan will be the greatest and fastest open science today”.  

Talking about the headline feature of Titan, it has capability to produce over 20,000 trillion calculations per second which is an astonishing figure. For those who find it a bit difficult to imagine, let us make this simple for you. Back in 2009, Jaguar- former fastest supercomputer by ORNL was a 2.3 petaflops (flop i.e. floating point operations per second) system and it was on the leading position during that period. Now think of Titan which has swapped Jaguar within just three year by ten-times greater performance.

Inventions like Titan has given a new dimension to science and technology plus motivated the scientists to extend their capabilities and discoveries.