Due to be switched on in January, Gordon uses huge amounts of flash-based memory to handle data-intensive computing that will help advance scientific and medical research.
Gordon can apparently process data 10 times faster than other supercomputers, dealing with 36 million Input/Output Operations Per Second. It also boasts four petabytes of storage space, 300 terabytes of flash memory, 64 terabytes of random access memory and over 280 teraflops of compute power.
In terms of computational speed, it actually ranks as the 48th fastest supercomputer in the world, but the I/O speeds means, in real terms, it would be capable of downloading 220 full HD movies per second.
Gordon, of course, won’t be wasting its time downloading films, but will be used for everything from comparing thousands of genomes to help find cures to diseases to analysing pollution flow.
“Those voyages mean Gordon can serve as a compute resource to help map the universe with the most detailed observations ever made, compare thousands of genomes to help find cures to diseases – or even detect predispositions to certain diseases – or be used to produce ultra-detailed simulations of earthquakes to help mitigate building damage, aid rescue efforts, and reduce potential injuries and loss of life,” explains the SDSC.
“Other possible applications include helping sociologists detect potentially significant changes and patterns in population, as well as helping economists spot how such things as computerized trading affect world financial markets.”
Based on the 1950s television series “Flash Gordon,” the supercomputer was funded by the National Science Foundation and has cost $20 million and five years of work to complete. Gordon is set to be unveiled in full in early January.
For more information, check out the official site of the San Diego Supercomputer Center.