High-Powered GRAPEs Take On the Cosmos

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Science  13 Jul 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5528, pp. 201-203
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5528.201

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TOKYO-- GRAPE-6, the latest in a line of machines that has been quietly revolutionizing astrophysical simulation, was unveiled earlier this week at a symposium here. GRAPEs do just one thing--compute the gravitational attraction between two bodies--and they do it so quickly that researchers have been able to begin simulating these astrophysical phenomena using realistic numbers of celestial bodies, a task that chokes conventional supercomputers. And GRAPEs are so affordable, even modestly funded groups can buy their own; many groups have several.