Machine Design

Off-the-shelf supercomputer

Virginia Tech is building a supercomputer said to be one of the cheapest and most-powerful home-built machines in the world.

It consists of 1,100 Apple G5 desktop computers tied together into a configuration that is reliable and much cheaper than huge mainframe supercomputing systems. Virginia Tech engineering professor Srinidhi Varadarajan is incorporating into the 1,100-node cluster a software package called Deja vu that he developed for stabilizing such systems.

The University hopes the new supercomputer will bring it numerous big science research projects that it did not have resources to handle previously.

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