A month after Cray announced the industry's first commercial teraflops supercomputer, Intel has matched the feat with a machine capable of processing one trillion calculations per second.
"This is the digital equivalent of breaking the four-minute mile," commented Craig Barrett, Intel's chief operating officer.
The computer was built under contract to the US Department of Energy's Sandia Laboratories, which will use it to simulate the explosion of stockpiled nuclear warheads, reducing real life explosions in line with the test ban treaty signed in September by President Clinton.
The supercomputer runs on 7,264 Pentium Pro processors on standard circuit boards. This is a prototype version but the final implementation will have 9,000 processors, edging up performance to 1.4Tflops.
Intel will also make smaller machines based on the same technology, which it expects to sell for high end simulation applications in industries such as aircraft design and automotive.
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