iPad 2 vs. Cray 2 supercomputer: Who wins?

The New York Times’ John Markoff reports that the new iPad 2 packs the computing power of the $17 million, hot tub-sized Cray 2 supercomputer of 1985.

Citing Jack Dongarra, a researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and one of the scientists who tracks the world’s fastest supercomputers, Markoff reports that the iPad 2 will have a Linpack benchmark of between 1.5 and 1.65 gigaflops (one gigaflop is a billion floating-point operations/sec). Such speed would have ensured the iPad 2 a spot on the list of world’s fastest supercomputers through 1994, Markoff wrote.

In June 1994, for example, an Intel XP/A4E machine with 48 cores at the IRISA research institute in France clocked a Linpack score of 1.5 gigaflops, good for No. 299 on the Top500.org’s list http://www.top500.org/list/1994/06/300 of the fastest known computers.

By November 1995, last place on the Top 500 list was held by a Cray Y-MP C94/364 machine at the Environmental Protection Agency, with a score of 2.5 gigaflops.

About the Author

Connect with the GCN staff on Twitter @GCNtech.


  • Russia prying into state, local networks

    A Russian state-sponsored advanced persistent threat actor targeting state, local, territorial and tribal government networks exfiltrated data from at least two victims.

  • Marines on patrol (US Marines)

    Using AVs to tell friend from foe

    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is looking for ways autonomous vehicles can make it easier for commanders to detect and track threats among civilians in complex urban environments without escalating tensions.

Stay Connected