The Titan supercomputer has overtaken the XT5 Jaguar as the most powerful computer system on the planet. The shift in the Top500 list is great news for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory where Titan is housed.
What is this beast used for? “today’s most challenging problems”, this will include such experiments as medical simulations and astrophysics, but most importantly, weather simulations. Titan is a Cray XK7 system that contains 18,688 nodes, each built from a 16-core AMD Opteron 6274 processor and an NVIDIA Tesla K20X GPU accelerator. Titan also has 710 terabytes of RAM.
The architecture is designed to use as little power as possible, due to the scale of the project. 17.59 petaflops (a petaflop is a quadrillion floating point calculations per second) was achieved on Linpack (a benchmarking suite used to determine just how powerful a supercomputer actually is) but the theoretical maximum for the system is an insane, 27 petaflops. I feel that the most important question to ask is, can it play Crisis? [ORNL]