Most Powerful University Supercomputer Now Cranking Around The Clock

Desktops may be losing steam as the segment gives way in some part to more mobile machines, but oddly, the largest desktops of all are seeing a huge uptick in attention. Supercomputers far and wide are becoming all the rage at institutions and educational facilities, as the world looks to plow more into science and computational black holes by using giant, always-on computers to handle the dirty work. Today, the Blue Waters supercomputer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign entered production, meaning the behemoth capable of performing quadrillions of calculations every second and working with quadrillions of bytes of data is now crunching numbers around the clock to help scientists and engineers across the country tackle a wide variety of science and engineering challenges.

Because Blue Waters is among the most powerful supercomputers in the world, and is the most powerful supercomputer on a university campus, it enables scientists to carry out research that would be otherwise impossible. The supercomputer, which was built from Cray hardware, operates at a sustained performance of more than 1 quadrillion calculations per second and is capable of peak performance of 11.61 quadrillion calculations per second.

That's a lot of math, folks, and we sincerely doubt this is the end of an era. In fact, we wouldn't be surprised if many more schools adopted these supercomputers in order to bolster their science programs. Who knew the desktop wouldn't fade away, but instead, just grow into something enormous?