Titan Supercomputer Learns to Go Green from Video Games

Titan was named the fastest computer in the world in November. Image courtesy ORNL

Titan was named the fastest computer in the world in November. Image courtesy ORNL

The Titan supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Lab was named the fastest in the world in November. And now it’s being recognized for being one of the most efficient machines on the planet.

In a ranking of 500 supercomputers, Titan came in as the third-best in number of calculations made per watt of electricity used.

Oak Ridge associate director for computing Jeff Nichols says the Titan leans on graphics processing units or GPUs found in video game systems.

“We took advantage of the gaming industry to give us 10 times more powerful processors and we only increased energy costs by half of what we were spending on specific systems today.”

But Titan is no video game console. It’s used to study climate change and energy sources. It can perform an incomprehensible 17 quadrillion calculations per second and has 700 terabytes of memory.

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