Earlier this year, the US Army, in association with the COLSA Corporation, announced that it would use 1,566 Xserve G5 servers clustered together to create a new supercomputer to aid in the study of hypersonic flight. Now, Apple has posted a story about the completed system, called MACH5.
The new US$5.8 million supercomputing cluster is estimated to be able to crunch through numbers at a staggering rate of 25 trillion floating point calculation per second; which, if verified, would make MACH5 the second fastest supercomputer in the world. From Appleis article:
When the Hypersonic Missile Technology (HMT) team at COLSA Corporation and the U.S. Army need to model hypersonic flight on a computer system, theyill no longer have to wait two months to get results.
The HMT team, headed by senior scientist Dr. John Medeiros, now has access to one of the worldis largest and most powerful computers: a supercluster of 1,566 64-bit, dual-processor Apple Xserve G5 servers.
Called MACH5 -- an acronym for Multiple Advanced Computers for Hypersonics -- the Apple cluster "gives us more than 60 times the computational power of our current production machine," says Medeiros. What used to take two months can now be done in a day. [...] At its peak, the supercluster can exceed 25 teraflops -- calculating more than 25 trillion floating-point operations per second. By comparison, the worldis fastest computer -- NECis $350 million Earth Simulator -- runs at a peak speed of 40 teraflops. A single person using a hand-held calculator -- without pausing to eat or sleep -- would need more than two million years to calculate what the Apple supercluster can calculate in a single second.
Thereis much more in the full article, which goes on to describe how the Army will use the new supercomputer, at Apple.com.