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World’s fastest Supercomputer ‘Roadrunner’ to be shut down permanently


The life of the world’s fastest supercomputer named Roadrunner is coming to an end.The computer will be decommissioned today and will not be used anymore.Roadrunner has set records for achieving a top performance of 1.456 petaflops per-second on November 2006.The  Super computer built at an expense of 133 million US Dollars, is housed at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the nuclear facility in New Mexico.It covers an 6000 Sq.Ft.

This supercomputer which is still in Top25 list is being shut down as a smaller,faster, cheaper and an energy efficient is designed.The supercomputer was fabricated by the Los Alamos Laboratory in collaboration with IBM with market available parts, as a hybrid of two different types of processors (12,960 IBM PowerXCell 8i CPUs, 6,480 AMD Opteron dual-core processors) connected through a 55 mile long optic fiber cable.

The computer was used for five years for testing the US nuclear weapons, to model Viruses, to study lasers and to process images of parts of the universe.Scientists have learnt a lot from Roadrunner.It was able to process over a quadrillion mathematical calculations per second.It is expected that a 15 years from now, supercomputers will be able to perform a quintillion calculations per second which is approximately thousand times faster than what Roadrunner could do.

The legendary supercomputer will be turned off today.But the scientists will work next whole month experimenting with its operating system and memory compression techniques before dismantling it. This is to design a better supercomputer in future.


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