October 20, 2009, 5:44 am
That‚Äôs the question asked by genomeweb.com in an article by Matthew Dublin on the recent ‚Äúpersonal supercomputing‚Äù trend. I‚Äôll go on record as saying that I like the term. It‚Äôs evocative, and feels like the kind of thing that might encourage and non-supercomputing user to kick the tires. And I‚Äôll all about bringing new communities to HPC. Addison Snell (for one) is on record as not liking it.
From the genomeweb piece
Andrew Jones, vice president of consulting at the Numerical Algorithms Group, a nonprofit HPC software and services solution group, has argued that by definition, a supercomputer is a computer with data processing power beyond that which is commonly available. ‚ÄúThere is always going to be a class of computing power that is much bigger than anything that will physically fit on your desk because if you can buy something for $1,000 or $10,000 then there are going to be users that are prepared to buy hundreds of them for a million dollars,‚Äù Jones says. ‚ÄúAnd there‚Äôs always going to be something that is orders of magnitude bigger than what most people can afford but the cheap stuff gets more powerful.‚Äù And that‚Äôs the point: good old Moore‚Äôs Law, along with improvements in hardware like GPUs, make that cheap and powerful stuff easily accessible for the rest of us...