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Friday, March 02, 2007
AMD Demonstrates Accelerated Computing Solution that Breaks Teraflop Barrier

AMD showcased a single-system, Accelerated Computing platform that breaks the teraflop computing barrier.

At a press event in San Francisco, AMD demonstrated a "Teraflop in a Box" system running a standard version of Microsoft Windows XP Professional that harnessed the power of AMD Opteron dual-core processor technology and two next-generation AMD R600 Stream Processors capable of performing more than 1 trillion floating-point calculations per second using a general "multiply-add" (MADD) calculation. The R600 graphics chip is expected to be released by the end of June.

In the supercomputing field, "flops" is an acronym meaning FLoating point Operations Per Second, a measure of a computer?s ability to perform floating point calculations. A teraflop is one trillion floating point operations per second.

This achievement represents a ten-fold performance increase over today?s high-performance server platforms, which deliver approximately 100 billion calculations per second.

Platforms based on the same technology found in the "Teraflop-in-a-Box" demonstration should benefit a wide range of scientific and commercial applications, including energy, financial, environmental, medical, scientific, defense and security organizations.

Barcelona Quad-core Sifgnificantly faster

At the same press event in San Francisco, AMD siad that the upcoming Barcelona processor will sport floating-point performance 42 percent higher than Intel's current top-of-the line CPU, the Xeon X5355 also known as Clovertown.

The news marked the first performance numbers AMD has provided for the chip that packs four Opteron cores on a single die and will be in production this fall.

Mario Rivas, general manager of AMD's microprocessor group, said Barcelona will provide a double-digit leap in integer performance over the quad-core Xeon.

Although the floating point advantage is significant, few applications outside high performance computing and video encoding make use of it.

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