IBM RoadRunner

roadrunnerThe IBM Roadrunner is a supercomputer built for the Los Alamos National Laboratory and is the world’s second fastest supercomputer and the first supercomputer to boast petaflop performance.  A unique system built with off the shelf parts, it achieved 1.026 petaflops on May 25th, 2008. Costing $133 million, it’s also the fourth most energy efficient supercomputer in the world.  The system is a hybrid of IBM PowerXCell 8i and AMD Opteron processors, and runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora.   It’s 6,000 square feet and went operational in 2008. The Department of Energy uses it to simulate the aging of nuclear materials, as well as crunching data for science, financial, automotive, and aerospace industries. It is one of the most unique supercomputers due to it’s hybrid processor system. It remained the world’s fastest supercomputer until it was knocked to second by the Cray XT5-HE Jaguar in 2009.

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