Research NewsPetaflops Computing

How Great a Need for Speed?

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Science  20 Sep 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5282, pp. 1656
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5282.1656

Summary

In some areas, the payoff of a petaflops computer—more than 1000 times faster than the fastest existing machine—will be surprisingly modest: only a sixfold increase in spatial and temporal resolution in climate models and other three-dimensional simulations. Buta petaflops also marks a threshold where other kinds of computation will become feasible or practical for the first time. They include time-critical problems such as computational support for surgery and applications combining many different kinds of simulations in a computational world, in which multiple users could run simultaneous experiments