In an effort to stay one step ahead of the summer monsoon season, Indian scientists are embarking on an ambitious and unprecedented project to build computer models that will allow them to predict the movements of erratic monsoons weeks in advance. If successful, the Indian government thinks it can drastically alter economic outcomes for hundreds of millions of people whose lives depend directly on India’s agriculture sector.
The Air Force's Blue Devil airship--a recent PopSci Best of What's New recipient and a potential answer to the military's expanding data glut problem--is getting yet another high-tech upgrade. Via a federal announcement put out last week, The Register reports that DARPA will outfit the Blue Devil Block 2 ISR airship with up to two Free-space Optical Experimental Network Experiment (FOENEX) systems. Think of them like optical lasers that move through the air with the fidelity of a fiber optic cable.
Back in 2009 when the H1N1 pandemic was sweeping the globe--it would leave about 17,000 people dead by the beginning of 2010, with confirmed cases in more than 200 countries--waves of anxiety followed in its wake. For most, it was a fear of an illness that seemed at the time indiscriminate, unstoppable, and incurable. For the virologists and drug developers trying to battle the virus, it stemmed from the fact that H1N1 was so poorly understood. This new strain of influenza A was a hybrid borrowing genetic elements from a handful of flu viruses, and researchers weren't just without tools--they didn't even know for sure what tools might be useful.
The newest TOP500 List--the ranking of the world's most powerful supercomputers--dropped today, and two things are clear: graphics processing units are increasingly augmenting the power of the world's most sophisticated supercomputers, and China is adding computing strength at an ambitious rate. Ten years ago China had just three computers that made the TOP500. It now has 73 on the list, including the second-fastest computer in the world in its Tianhe-1A supercomputer.
This week, PopSci is peeking under the hood of some of the nation's biggest and baddest supercomputers--the machines that turn big data into big discoveries, big technologies, and big leaps forward. Over the last week, we managed to get each of the busy machines in this series on the phone to see what they were up to on during a particular day. They were happy to share.
Today we chat with the 63 thousand processing cores of the University of Texas's Ranger.
Over the last week, we managed to get some of the nation's biggest and baddest supercomputers to take a moment away from their gigabusy schedules and tell us what they were working on. They were happy to share.Name: Jaguar
Ranking: 3 (an ongoing upgrade should make it no. 1 by 2013)
Back in June when the latest edition of TOP500 dropped (TOP500 lists the world's top supercomputers), Japan's K Computer leapt ahead of China's Tianhe-1A supercomputer to become the biggest, baddest computing platform on the planet.
Since 2007, IBM has been working with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to construct the world's fastest academic supercomputer. This week we learn that work has been mysteriously halted by IBM, which is taking back the parts it recently delivered to the school, giving U. of Illinois its money back, and ceasing work on the project just months before the massive computer is slated to be completed.