Do-It-Yourself Computer Makers Ax Costs

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have shown that making rather than buying is a possible--even practical--solution for obtaining a supercomputer. Roldan Pozo, a mathematician at NIST, built a system called JazzNet from commercial hardware and software for less than $30,000. Initial performance studies show it performing calculations at a peppy one gigaflop (one billion floating-point operations per second)--a pace ordinarily requiring investments of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Pozo is now involved with integrating JazzNet with an experimental communication network to study the performance effects of increased network bandwidth on computational science applications.

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