Cray Titan - the world’s most powerful computer (2012)
The Cray Titan is installed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. It was built with GPU chips from Nvidia. It is powerful enough to conduct 17.59 quadrillion calculations per second.
The number is: 17,590,000,000,000,000. Titan has 560,640 processors, of which 261,632 are Nvidia-made accelerators.
A Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) is a chip that’s really good at doing a certain kind of math known as a floating point operation, and it does it much faster than a typical CPU chip from Intel or AMD that you’d find inside a PC or server. They also do these math problems using less power — electrical power — than CPUs.
GPUs were originally designed for gaming and to make professional graphics applications like editing movies and visualizing complex problems for engineers and scientists. Fundamentally, all of those are big floating point operations. Basically, a GPU chip is designed to render what happens to every pixel on a computer screen 50 times a second or even faster. Essentially, lots of small computational jobs are carried out at once. It’s called parallel computing, and CPUs chips aren’t as good at the parallel stuff as GPU chips. CPUs are better at doing one job at a time, getting it done really fast, and then moving on to the next one.
SOURCE: AllThingsD.com, Top500.org