Monday, September 03, 2007
Calvin College reports: [edited]
Brom, now a graduate student at the University of Kentucky continuing his studies in computer science, worked with Adams to build Microwulf, a machine that is among the smallest and least expensive supercomputers on the planet.
“It’s small enough to check on an airplane or fit next to a desk,” said Brom.
This may prove useful next summer when Brom and others from his graduate program travel to England to do work that will require “a significant amount of computing power.”
And as the price of commercial supercomputers is often prohibitive for many educational institutions, bringing a “personal” supercomputer like Microwulf could be a cost-effective solution for the group of graduate researchers.
“So far as we can tell, this is the first supercomputer to have this low price/performance ratio - the first to cost less than $100/Gflop,” said Adams [the original project cost $2470. With current hardware prices, another system would cost half of that amount].
Microwulf is more than twice as fast as Deep Blue, the IBM-created supercomputer that beat world chess champion Gary Kasparov in 1997, and cost only a fraction of the $5 million spent to build Deep Blue.