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WHAT REALLY TURNS PEOPLE ON? What do men and
women look for when
no one is looking?
“Everything you always wanted to know
about your desires in the bedroom.”
–Daniel J. Levitin, author of This Is Your Brain
on Music and The World in Six Songs
A member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
THE NATIONAL BESTSELLER “A resounding tribute to the muscularity of the mind.” —THE WASHINGTON POST
;;;; ;;;;;;; ;;;;;’; ;;;;;;-;; ;;;;
the title of the world’s most powerful
supercomputer, capable of ;.; petaflops,
meaning it can perform ;.; quadrillion
operations per second. It may not hold the
top spot for long, as ;;; says that its ;;-
petaflop giant Sequoia will come online
Looking ahead, engineers have set their
sights even higher, on computers a thousand times as fast as Tianhe-;A that could
model the global climate with unprecedented accuracy, simulate molecular
interactions, and track terrorist activity.
Such machines would operate in the realm
called the exascale, performing a quintillion (that’s a ; with ;; zeroes after it) calculations per second.
The biggest hurdle to super-supercom-puting is energy. Today’s supercomputers
consume more than ; megawatts of power. Exascale computers built on the same
principles would devour ;;; to ;;; megawatts—about the same as a small city. At
current prices, the electric bill alone for just
one machine could top ;;;; million per
year, says Richard Murphy, computer architect at Sandia National Laboratories.
To avoid that undesirable future, Murphy is leading one of four teams developing
energy-efficient supercomputers for the
Ubiquitous High-Performance Computing
program organized by the military’s experimental research division, the Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency, or
Darpa. Ultimately the agency hopes to
bring serious computing power out of giant
facilities and into ;eld operations, perhaps
tucked into ;ghter jets or even in Special
Forces soldiers’ backpacks.
;e program, which kicked o; last year,
challenges scientists to construct a pet-
a;op computer by ;;;; that consumes no
more than ;; kilowatts of electricity—in
other words, it must be ;; percent as fast
as today’s reigning champ, while consum-
ing just ; percent as much power.
“All it takes to have a better
memory, [Foer] contends, are
a few tricks and a good
—MAUREEN DOWD, THE NEW YORK TIMES
Also available as an e-book
A Member of Penguin Group (USA)
Floating point opera-
tions per second, a
standard measure of
Buzz Words Buzz Words
orders of magnitude
above the current
frontier, with quintil-
lions of calculations
A form of data storage
with its own comput-
ing capabilities. Such
memory reduces the
need to move data to a
computer system in
which each processor
has its own dedicated
set of memory chips.
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