ASCI White

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ASCI White is a supercomputer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

It is a computer cluster based on IBM's commercial RS/6000 SP computer, 512 of these machines are connected together for ASCI White, with 16 processors per node and 8,192 processors in total with 6 terabytes of memory and 160 terabytes of disk storage. Despite these formidable statistics, each processor is slow by 2005 standards, operating at a mere 375 MHz. Therefore it is almost exclusively used for for computations requiring dozens of processors. The computer weighs 106 tons and consumes 3 MW of electricity with a further 3 MW needed for cooling. It has a theoretical processing speed of 7,226 gigaflops. As it is was made by IBM it runs their AIX operating system.

ASCI White is made up of three individual systems, the 512 node White, the 28 node Ice and the 68 node Frost.

The system was built in Poughkeepsie, New York. Completed in June 2000 it was transported to specially built facilities in California and officially dedicated on August 15, 2001. Claimed performance was 12,300 gigaflops, although this was not achieved in the widely accepted LINPACK tests. The system cost $110 million.

It was built as stage three of the Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI) started by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration to build a simulator to replace live nuclear testing following the moratorium on testing started by President George H. W. Bush in 1992 and extended by Bill Clinton in 1993.

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