lunedì 25 agosto 2014

evoluzione esponenziale

The ASCI Red, the first product of the U.S. government’s Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative, was the world’s fastest supercomputer when it was introduced in 1996. It cost $55 million to develop and its one hundred cabinets occupied nearly 1,600 square feet of floor space (80 percent of a tennis court) at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico.10 Designed for calculation-intensive tasks like simulating nuclear tests, ASCI Red was the first computer to score above one teraflop—one trillion floating point operations* per second—on the standard benchmark test for computer speed. To reach this speed it used eight hundred kilowatts per hour, about as much as eight hundred homes would. By 1997, it had reached 1.8 teraflops.
Nine years later another computer hit 1.8 teraflops. But instead of simulating nuclear explosions, it was devoted to drawing them and other complex graphics in all their realistic, real-time, three-dimensional glory. It did this not for physicists, but for video game players. This computer was the Sony PlayStation 3.....

Dal libro di McAfee ed Andrew. “The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies”.

In sintesi.
Nel 1997 un supercomputer per simulare test nucleari costava 55 milioni di dollari, occupava quasi un campo da tennis, richiedeva potenza elettrica pari al consumo di 800 famiglie.
La sua potenza di calcolo era di 1.8 teraflops.
9 anni più tardi la stessa potenza di calcolo la si può trovare, molto più a buon mercato, in un computer che tutti conosciamo: la PlayStation 3 !!!

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