New Supercomputer Replaces DRAM With SSDs For Faster Data Transfer Speed

A new supercomputer, called Catalyst, is being deployed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif. The supercomputer makes use of SSDs in place of DRAM and hard drives, in an attempt to achieve faster data transfer speeds.


The new machine has been built by the collaboration of U.S. Department of Energy, Intel and Cray. Catalyst has been packed with 281TB of SSD storage. The computing prowess for the machine is drawn from the smaller computing units, each of which includes two 12-core Xeon E5-2695v2 processors. Catalyst comprises of a total of 324 such computing units.

This new supercomputer is able to deliver a peak performance of 150 teraflops. This is certainly not as good as the world’s faster supercomputer but the new implementation of SSDs in the place of hard drives is certainly a good step forward. When it comes to the throughput of the machine, it is able to achieve nearly 512 GB per second, which is equal to that of the world’s third fastest super computer.

The SSDs that are being used in Catalyst are Intel 910 series. They are plugged straight into the PCI-Express 2.0 slots, ensuring that the computer is able to access the storage in minimum possible time.

SSDs have long been hailed as a faster and safer mode of storage space, compared to the regular hard drives. However, SSDs are significantly more expensive than regular storage options. Despite such economic strings attached, enterprises continue to adopt the new storage solution and analysts believe that SSDs are to be the future of commercial data storage.

Courtesy: PC World

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