CNet News is reporting that Apple has landed a contract to provide 1,566 Xserve G5 Macs for a supercomputing cluster for the army. Costing some US$5.8 million, the cluster will occupy some 42 racks and 600 square feet of floor space, and will be used for simulations by the US Army. CNet reports the cluster is expected to hit the 15 teraflop performance level, not quite 50% faster than the 1100 Power Mac G5 supercomputing cluster put together by Virginia Tech last year. That would move the Armyis system into the Top 5 fastest supercomputers on the planet. From CNet:
A US Army contractor has purchased a US$5.8 million, 1,566-server supercomputer from Apple Computer, a real-world cousin to an academic system that briefly appeared high on a list of the most powerful machines.
The Colsa system, made of dual-processor Xserve G5 machines, is expected to reach about 15 teraflops when itis up and running this fall, said project manager Mike Whitlock.
Much of the credit to Appleis successes thus far is due to the processor it uses--IBMis PowerPC 970--Illuminata analyst Gordon Haff said.
"The Macintosh software and the nice management features of OS X are factors here, but certainly performance of the processor is an enormous factor," Haff said. "PowerPC is a fast processor."
Thereis more information in the full article, which we recommend as a good read.