State of the art

Chuck Guzis cclist at
Thu Sep 22 16:45:16 CDT 2005

I was catching up on my reading and came across an interesting article in the September 2005 IEEE Computer Society "Computer" magazine.  

The gist of the particular article was that the graphics processors on many high-end PC video cards are overlooked for applications requiring heavy number-crunching.  What caught my eye was the chart that illustrated that the Nvidia G70 graphics processor now performs at about 170 GFlops!  (A dual-core Pentium 4 running at 3 GHz, by contrast, will do about 20 GFlops).

Granted, this is 32-bit vector floating point arithmetic, but the raw numbers are pretty stunning.

It simply doesn't seem that long ago that Neil Lincoln was telling me how wonderful his liquid nitrogen-cooled high-density CMOS vector supercomputer was going to be in that it would be the first to break the 10 Gflop mark.  (This was the ill-fated ETA Systems one and only ETA-10 supercomputer).

Now we have 170 GFlops on the desktop to draw pictures!

Times certainly do change.  Does anyone know what became of very few ETA-10's that were built?  Museum or landfill?


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