Road Runner Supercomputer
The Roadrunner Supercomputer is currently the world’s fastest computer; it is located in New
Mexico, USA. It cost $133 Million (US) dollars to build, and is designed for a peak performance of 1.7
Petaflops, For those of you who do not know what a Flop is; it is a measurement of computing
performance, by measuring “Floating Point Operations Per Second”.
The Roadrunner uses Red Hat Enterprise Linux along with Fedora as its operating systems
I t is currently being used to simulate how nuclear materials age in order to find out how reliable the
US’s nuclear arsenal is. Other uses include science, financial, automotive and aerospace industries.
The Roadrunner was in development from 2002 and went online in 2006, but due to its design and
complexity, it hadn’t become operational until 2008, although operational, it is still being assembled.
The Roadrunner is actually a hybrid system, in that it uses two different processor architectures,
making it a difficult system to design and program for. In other words, to use the computer, you will
have to use software specifically designed for the Roadrunners architecture.
The Architecture consists basically from dual core Opteron processors, an Opteron processor is an
AMD 32bit server processor that also enables 64bit processing, now attached to each Opteron core
is a cell processor manufactured by IBM. Now what this means is that the roadrunner is considered
an Opteron cluster with cell accelerators, as each node has a cell attached to an Opteron core, and
the Opteron’s are all linked together.
The Roadrunner has 6,912 Opteron Processors, each dual-core and each run at 1.8 GHz. On top of
that, the road runner has cell processors; now these processors have one general purpose core, and
eight Special performance cores, now the roadrunner has 12,960 cells, each runs at 3.2 GHz. So that
means in total there are 12,960 general purpose cores, and 103,680 special purpose cores, or a total
of 116,640 cores. Combined with the Opteron cores, there are 130,464 cores for both the computing
nodes and the operational nodes
So the overall information is 6,480 Opteron Processors with 51.8 Tib RAM, 12,960 Cell Processors
with 51.8 Tib of RAM, 216 System I/O Nodes, 36 288-port ISR2012 Infiniband 4x DDR switches, 296
racks and runs on 2.35 MW ( Million Watts )