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2.04.2009

Computers the Size of a Room?

I've been watching the Netbook market with interest for some time now. I love the idea of a less than ten inch computer with almost full sized keyboard, especially as I look forward to potentially 40 hour trips this year. But that's my biggest problem with the current build of netbooks: They have a battery life of 2-4 hours.

What's the point of having a super portable computer that can't be without an outlet for more than a couple of hours? That doesn't make sense at all.

But in case you are afraid that the world of technology will continue to get smaller and smaller, don't worry: IBM is building a computer that takes up a room.

The Sequoia is slated to be able to hit 20 petaflops. How fast is that?

Well, according to one site:

If each of the 6.7 billion people on earth had a hand calculator and worked together on a calculation 24 hours per day, 365 days a year, it would take 320 years to do what Sequoia will do in one hour.

How does it go so fast?

Well, it has 1.6 million processor cores.

Those really expensive Apple computers that cost more than a really nice car?

8 cores.

The Sequoia has 200,000 times that many.

I think rendering would be a tad faster with such a machine.

But, no, they're not going to be sic-ing this powerhouse on media production. No, they are going to use it to simulate nuclear blasts and the weather.

That's not nearly as cool.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor

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