Cray employees put the finishing touches on Titan at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. The supercomputer may be the world's fastest. It's designed to do 20 petaflops — or 20,000 trillion calculations — each second. It consumes enough electricity to power a small city of 9,000 people.
Credit Courtesy of Nvidia
U.S. Energy Secretary Chu stands inside a 3-D imaging "cave," which simulates the inside of a nuclear reactor. The cave, powered by the supercomputers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, helps scientists to process, view and understand enormous amounts of data visually.
Credit Courtesy of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory
A Cray employee organizes the processors used to build Titan. To accelerate its processing power and conserve energy, Titan uses GPUs — graphics processing units. These chips were originally developed for the video game industry.
Credit Courtesy of Nvidia
Eric Lee plays a massively multiplayer online game at Euphnet, a cybercafe for gamers in Sunnyvale, Calif. The $30 billion video game industry is driving new, faster chip designs that are now powering some of the world's most powerful supercomputers.
Credit Steve Henn / NPR
The Nvidia Tesla K20 GPU Accelerator powers the new Titan supercomputer. Its design is based on chips built for gaming.
The world's fastest supercomputers have come back to the U.S. In June, the title was claimed by a machine named Sequoia at Lawrence Livermore Labs. Monday, at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, what could be an even faster computer comes online. It's called Titan and it would not have been possible were it not for the massive market for video games.
Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 11:32 am
There's big news in the world of publishing: The two conglomerates that own Random House and Penguin announced Monday that they were merging their book businesses to form a new company.
German media company Bertelsmann, the owner of Random House, will own 53 percent of the new firm, Penguin Random House; Pearson, which owns Penguin, will control the rest. The merger, subject to regulatory approval, is scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2013.
Official Washington shut down today for Hurricane Sandy, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was on the job. It's mission: preparedness. Among other things, the agency is stockpiling water, meals, blankets and cots.
Robert Siegel and Audie Cornish check in with Jeff Brady, who monitored coastal conditions and official briefings in Cape May, N.J. They also talk to Margot Adler in New York City. Science Correspondent Joe Palca talks about the storm's strength and direction, as well as some of the unusual characteristics that have inspired the nickname "Frankenstorm."
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 5:15 pm
Audie Cornish speaks with Larry Abramson in Ocean City, Md., about the impact of Hurricane Sandy. The storm has already destroyed the town's fishing pier and sent floodwaters pouring into low-lying areas
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 5:12 pm
Economists will need many days — maybe weeks or months — to assess the financial harm being done by Hurricane Sandy. But whatever the final figure, it will be huge, well into the tens of billions of dollars.
More than 60 million Americans are feeling the impact of the weather monster slamming New York, New Jersey, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and many other states. The howling mix of wind, rain and snow is causing massive direct losses, i.e., the destruction of private homes, stores, boats and cars.
As the presidential campaign has unfolded, the candidates have traded polemics about wealth, class warfare, dependency and the role of government.
And while it may be uncomfortable to admit, some Americans are simply more financially successful than others. But why do some achieve wealth, while others struggle? And what do we think explains our prosperity — or lack thereof?