If you build a supercomputer out of Atom chips, will someone buy it? That remains to be seen, but it’s a compelling enough idea to score $9.3m from the US Department of Energy. You can click here to read about SeaMicro, a small company that picked up the dough to develop an Atom-based supercomputer. The story describes a system …
The claim of $100K for the entire system is not credible. A petabyte using the very cheapest commodity drives would cost approximately $85K, and that's just the storage. Unless Intel literally gives them 500 Atom processors for free, plus they get great deals on everything from that storage to memory and power supplies, plus they sell the thing for zero profit, $100K isn't achievable. My guess is that the reporter got things wrong, quoting a price for one system and a capability for another. Either that, or they're just snake-oil salesmen. Personally I think Smooth Stone - also linked from TFA - has a much more credible story.
Disclosure: I used to work for SiCortex, which was in a similar space. As far as I know there's no relationship (positive or negative) to either of these other companies, but I figured I'd mention it anyway.
If you want lots of low energy processors without much FP, then ARMs would be a lot better choice.
How dare you they aren't American and have no business in a "American" machine.
Stick a few Ions in that Atom cluster. Actually, any GPGPU implementation will do but ones designed for lower power setups would probably be best. Hey, think I can get nvidia to part with a few hundred Tegra chips? Hmm... now that I think about, I gotta go write up a grant proposal.
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