Nasa has completed its fastest simulation of ocean circulation using the Linux operating system running on a 256-processor Silicon Graphics Altix system.
The simulation model, called Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean (ECCO), helps Nasa better understand large-scale ocean dynamics.
Conducted at the Nasa Ames Research Center, the simulation was part of a research programme to accelerate the processing of large-scale problems in the earth sciences domain.
James Taft, president of Sienna Software, and a Nasa Ames consultant, said: "The results we've been seeing are extraordinary for 256 processors.
"For instance, the Overflow CFD application has generated 200Gflops of sustained performance with 256 processors, which is exactly twice the performance that the Nasa Ames team achieved with the first 128-processor Altix system - all without optimising application code."
Running on its Ames 256-processor single system image, Nasa's ECCO ran a one-quarter degree global problem at a rate of 1.4 simulated years per wall clock day - the fastest ECCO result ever achieved on any system.
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