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New supercomputer Titan is run mostly by GPUs and it is faster and smaller than just about every other supercomputer in the world.

Supercomputers are always impressive to me, and the latest powerhouse supercomputer Titan is no exception. Operating in Tennessee by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Titan supercomputer is a part of the Department of Energy’s network of research labs. Titan is dedicated to perform only operations and calculations for open research development. Aside from the government, some industries and academic institutions will also get to use the supercomputer.

Nvidia provided half of the computing power, since Titan runs half on Nvidia GPUs and half on traditional AMD CPUs. Nvidia chief technology officer of accelerated computing business, Steve Scott said, “Why care about these big computers? It’s really because society’s got big problems. There are healthcare issues, lots of diseases across the board, an aging population. Energy is a huge problem facing the world and our country. Increasingly computers are used to solve these problems.” The six main areas of Titan’s efforts will be: material science code, climate change, biofuels, nuclear energy, combustion, and astrophysics.

Even though the official Top500 list has already been compiled in June, it’s expected that Titan will take the number one spot at the next evaluation date. Because Titan uses GPUs, it consumes less power while being more powerful. It also uses less physical space than a supercomputer with comparable computing power that was using only CPUs. The Sequoia supercomputer is the top spot on the Top500 most powerful supercomputers in the world list, and performs with 16.32 petaflops. Titan can output 20 petaflops.

To read more about supercomputers, check out our last blog post about supercomputers and how Amazon’s cloud supercomputer is on the list of the fifty fastest supercomputers in the world.