Taken from Apple.com: http://www.apple.com/science/profiles/colsa/index.html
Taking Apple Xserve to MACH5
When the Hypersonic Missile Technology (HMT) team at COLSA Corporation and the U.S. Army need to model hypersonic flight on a computer system, they’ll 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 world’s 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.
“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.”
“Once you have that kind of computational power,” Medeiros adds, “you can look at things with higher resolution and see other problems you want to investigate. Plus you can tackle much larger problems.”
Medeiros and the COLSA team chose the Xserve-based supercluster to model the complex aero-thermodynamics of hypersonic flight for the Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) of the U.S. Army at nearby Redstone Arsenal. Working with the COLSA team, Drs. Billy Walker and Kevin Kennedy of RDECOM conduct leading-edge analysis of hypersonic flight for a number of important military programs.
At its peak, the supercluster can exceed 25 teraflops — calculating more than 25 trillion floating-point operations per second. By comparison, the world’s fastest computer — NEC’s $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.
Modeling Hypersonic Flight
“With the kind of computations we can do with the G5s, we can better understand and model hypersonic flight conditions for missiles and scramjet engines,” Medeiros says. Scramjets are experimental, air-breathing engines that can power systems to speeds in excess of Mach 6 in the upper atmosphere.
“NASA is interested in scramjet engines as a cheaper way to get into orbit,” says Medeiros. “Also, in terms of high-speed travel, scramjets may provide a means to achieve very high-speed global transport.”
Medeiros’ team and RDECOM will also use the supercluster to improve the design of intercept missiles that defend against attack.
“With this kind of power, we can expect to design scramjet engines and missiles in a more economical way with significant reduction in wind tunnel testing and in the number of very expensive flight tests,” says Medeiros.
A typical problem Medeiros and colleagues face involves computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to model flight — for either missile bodies or flow-through scramjet engines.
“Depending on how much computational power you have, you define the space around the object of interest with from two to 20 million grid points at which you want to solve the physics of the problem,” he says. “Then you group the set of points around the object and assign a group to each processor on a multiprocessor machine.
Medeiros elaborates: “Depending on the grid points you define, the number of iterations you go through and how many time steps you want to pass through, a problem might take anywhere from several days to several months of 24/7 runtime..........................
Read more at: http://www.apple.com/science/profiles/colsa/index2.html
COMMENTS: I think of all the Supercomputers, this is the best Supercomputer yet..And it only costed 6 million dollars to build compared to the Earth Simulator that costed 350 million dollars to build...What more could you ask...Now they got faster supercomputers but cost too much; you are talking 50 millions, 100 millions it doesn't add up and they just robbing people..At peak it can do 25+ Trillion Calculations/Operations per second...At one point it was the second fastest supercomputer in the world..What more could you ask..And the price? 6 million dollars..I wonder how many calculations you will get for 1 million dollar? LOL...If you divide 25 Trillion between 6 you should get 4.2 Trillion calculations/operations per second (not counting the + sign LOL)..But to be on the safe side we are going to leave it at 100 Billion Calculations/Operations...LOL...And Powerball only has 150 million combinations...LOL..I can CIRCUMNAVIGATE those 150 million combinations OVER, and OVER, and OVER, and OVER, etc, etc, etc , IN ONE SECOND : )...LOL...Ladies & Gentlements: GAME OVER..: ) LOL...Maybe i should use the word: "CIRCUMCALCULATE" those 150 million combinations...LOL...
I dubb Supercomputers: The Transformers because they can "Tranform" this world..LOL