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10/27/2003
10:45 AM
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Faster All The Time

A supercomputer built from 1,100 Apple Macs by faculty and students at Virginia Polytechnic Institute has achieved a speed of 8.7 trillion operations per second, putting the computer in line to be the world's third fastest. Jason Lockhart, director of high-performance computing at the college of engineering at Virginia Tech, says the supercomputer, built for a little more than $5 million, is running the Linpack benchmark at a sustained speed of 8.7 teraflops, eclipsing a result of 7.4 teraflops achieved in earlier tests. The Virginia Tech system is assembled from off-the-shelf Apple Macintosh computers running 2,200 64-bit IBM microprocessors. About 10 faculty members at Virginia Tech are expected to start writing code for the machine early next year.

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