Intel likes the sound of (not so) distant Thunder

Chip giant is going all 'supercomputer' on us...
Written by Michael Kanellos, Contributor on

Chip giant is going all 'supercomputer' on us...

Intel plans to dedicate $36m for basic research into improving the performance of supercomputers made from off-the-shelf parts as it continues to expand its reach in the very high end of the computer market.

The chip giant will be a visible presence this week at the SC2003 supercomputing conference taking place in Phoenix.

Along with the announcement of the research effort, called the Advanced Computing Program, Intel will discuss how Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is erecting a cluster, code-named Thunder, that will contain 3,840 1.4GHz, 4MB Itanium 2 processors and is expected to be one of the fastest computers in the world. It is slated to be completed in December.

At 20 teraflops, or 20 trillion floating-point calculations per second, Thunder would be the second fastest supercomputer in the world if it were running now, second only to NEC's Earth Simulator, said Rick Herrmann, high-performance computing program office manager at Intel.

Intel-based computers account for four of the top 10 computers on the latest Top 500 supercomputing list, which was released Sunday, and for 189 computers total on the list. A year ago, only 56 computers on the list ran on Intel chips.

Michael Kanellos writes for News.com

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