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  • Petaflop – Oskee Wow Wow!

    Posted by Dan from Madison on December 7th, 2007 (All posts by )

    An awful lot of bragging goes on in these parts about the U of Chicago and the accomplishments of that legendary university, and rightly so.

    I am a distinguished alumni of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and I would like to do a little bragging myself about something I know absolutely nothing about.  Well, one thing I know a lot about and one I don’t.

    Most sports fans know that my beloved Illini will be playing in the Rose Bowl this year, the first time we have been back to the “granddaddy of them all” since 1984.  It is so very sweet.

    Perhaps more importantly, by 2011 the U of I will most likely be the home of the world’s fastest supercomputer.

    The system is called Blue Waters, and will be capable of more than one quadrillion operations per second.  The current fastest supercomputer is “Abe”, operating at a paltry .091 petaflops.  Blue Waters will be ten times more powerful than Abe, just as the Illinois football team will be ten times more powerful than the truly pathetic Northwestern squad.

    So what does all of this supercomputing and petaflopping power mean?  I can’t comprehend.  But maybe one of our esteemed readers or one of my blogmates could explain it to me.

    Its nice to see the alma mater doing well in the things that really count, and in academics as well.


    3 Responses to “Petaflop – Oskee Wow Wow!”

    1. Shannon Love Says:

      The system is called Blue Waters, and will be capable of more than one quadrillion operations per second.

      But it will be programmed in BASIC. ;-)

    2. Jay Manifold Says:

      As all 2001 fans know, the HAL plant is located in Urbana, Illinois.

    3. Don Says:


      The Playstation3 network is supporting a petaflop in medical research. Stats here –

      for the Folding at Home project. “Folding@home is a distributed computing project — people from throughout the world download and run software to band together to make one of the largest supercomputers in the world. Every computer takes the project closer to our goals. Folding@home uses novel computational methods coupled to distributed computing, to simulate problems millions of times more challenging than previously achieved.”

      More info here

      and how that little ‘game’ console is making big numbers

      any you just thought it was a toy. Heh.