THE FIRST THING YOU DO when you build a new supercomputer is to spout about how it's one of the most powerful in the world, as is the case with the IBM-built Pangea III.
French energy firm Total has switched on the supercomputer, which boasts 31.7 petaflops of processing grunt; in case you're wondering, that's the equivalent of 170,000 laptops combined. The Pangea III also boasts 76 petabytes of storage that has can store the equivalent of 50 million HD movies - that's a lot of porn.
But Total won't be using all that power to find some high-quality French grot, but rather will use Pangea III to locate new resources on oil and gas exploration missions and find more ways to generate revenue.
"It enables Total to reduce geological risks in exploration and development, accelerate project maturation and delivery, and increases the value of our assets through optimised field operations, with all this at a lower cost," spouted Arnaud Breuillac, president at Total Exploration & Production.
Built by IBM, which stuffed its POWER9 CPUs into the supercomputer, Pangea III has claimed the top spot for the world's most powerful commercial supercomputer; there are more powerful ones to be found in government organisations, but they don't count here.
Big Blue's POWER9 processors can be found in some of the top supercomputers in the world, including the US Department of Energy's Summit and Sierra machines. And the processors come optimised for artificial intelligence workloads, which is handy when you want a clever computer to spot patterns in masses of data.
Does this mean anything to you, the average reader of our fair website? Probably not, as unlike some top-end enterprise tech, supercomputer power isn't likely to filter its way down to our PCs anytime soon.
But then you don't need all that power to do your average computer bits; for that stuff the likes of Dell have you covered.
Nevertheless, supercomputer power is ticking along nicely; all we need now is a machine that can sort out the clusterf*** that is Brexit. µ
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