When we first heard about San Diego's Gordon supercomputer, we envisioned a spunky thirty-something with a near endless database of PC knowledge and a custom program designed for epic rants. But then we remembered that's our own Gordon Mah Ung. Surprisingly, no one has named a supercomputer after intrepid Deputy Editor (yet), but San Diego did name one after Flash Gordon, an appropriate namesake since it's the world's first supercomputer to rely entirely on flash memory for storage chores.
"Think of Gordon as the world’s largest thumb drive, but with the capability to ingest about 220 movies per second from Netflix, or consume the entire catalog of about 100,000 Netflix movies – while still having room for another 200,000 titles. That’s a lot of popcorn," San Diego's Supercomputer Center (SDSC) explains. "On a more scientific note, Gordon will have the ability to hold 100,000 entire human genomes in its flash memory system."
The secret sauce is obviously in Gordon's flash storage system, which SDSC claims is capable of handling massive databases while providing up to 100 times faster speeds when compared to hard drive disk systems. Gordon's storage capacity currently sits at 4 petabytes, which makes up the bulk of the $20 million, five-year grant from the National Science Foundation.
Imge Credit: Alan Decker for SDSC
Gordon was recently ranked as among the top 50 fastest supercomputers in the world in terms of speed or doing pure math, SDSC says. When it launches on New Year's day, it will have 16,384 compute cores and a theoretical peak perforamnce of 340 teraflops per second, Wired reports.