Making a supercomputer used to require teams of dedicated scientists, millions in federal research grants, and lots of specialized components that took years to design.
Thanks to clustering and other advances, a group of well-trained grad students can build one from off-the-shelf parts. As a result, the rankings in the Top 500 Supercomputers list changes more rapidly than the standings on Dancing with the Stars.
So with commoditization, what's the most expensive thing? The cooling system? The processors?
Weirdly, it's the memory, says Andy Bechtolsheim, senior vice president of Sun Microsystems' systems group and a co-founder of Sun, … Read more