Special Announcement: iSGTW on winter holidays
Over the next two weeks, people all over the world will be enjoying their holiday season. The team here at iSGTW is no exception.
When next you read an issue of iSGTW, it will be 6 January 2010. Perhaps that makes today a good time to look back on 2009.
In 2008, Roadrunner was the world’s most powerful supercomputer, at 1.105 petaflop/s. This year, Jaguar wins the number one spot on the TOP500 List, performing at 1.75 petaflop/s on the Linpack benchmark test. That’s an increase of more than 50 percent power for the world’s top supercomputer.
While Jaguar and Roadrunner raced to the top of the TOP500 List, the first flash-based supercomputer, Dash, was chasing an entirely different goal. Flash-based supercomputers are better suited to problems that involve moving a lot of data, as it turns out. Although Dash may not qualify as a supercomputer in terms of teraflops/s, it can outperform virtually any system in the realm of rapid data movement.
Meanwhile, grids have continued to refine their technology. Many are becoming increasingly interoperable. Others have found new and interesting ways to improve their middleware or hardware. And some are now experimenting with the addition of unusual architectures, such as graphical processing units (GPUs). Grids are also serving as resource providers for the increasing number of scientific cloud computing projects. Whether you call them scientific gateways, web portals, or hubs, they all serve the same purpose: they help scientists to do their work without having to worry about the technical details of meeting their computational needs.
It’s fitting that iSGTW has also had a great year. We’ve featured special issues on crime, South America, biotechnology and health, and the LHC. We’ve launched improvements to our site, introduced an increasing amount of multimedia, and started online forums on Nature Networks and Facebook where people can chat about everything to do with eScience.
As we enter the new year, let us hope that 2010 will prove to be even better. Have a great holiday season, and stay tuned.