U.S. DoE to build fastest supercomputer with Tesla GPUs

Talk about some nice PR for Nvidia. The U.S. Department of Energy is apparently planning to deploy the world's most powerful supercomputer by a long shot, and it's going to use Nvidia's Tesla GPUs to do it.

According to Nvidia, the supercomputer will be deployed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Titan, as it's named, is meant to have peak floating-point computing performance in excess of 20 petaFLOPS. That would make it over twice as fast as the world's current fastest supercomputer, Japan's K computer, which tops out at 8.16 petaFLOPS. Nvidia claims Titan will be "three times more energy efficient," as well.

Here are all the dirty details about the deployment:

In the first phase of the Titan deployment, which is currently underway, Oak Ridge will upgrade its existing Jaguar supercomputer with 960 Tesla M2090 GPUs based on the NVIDIA® "Fermi" architecture. These GPUs will serve as companion processors to multi-core CPUs in this Cray XK6 supercomputer. In the second phase, expected to begin in 2012, Oak Ridge plans to deploy up to 18,000 Tesla GPUs based on the next-generation architecture code-named "Kepler."

Nvidia doesn't say whether the plan is for Titan to become sentient, although it does note the supercomputer will be used "in a broad range of fields, including material science, energy technology, medical research, geoscience, and others."

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