Print 33 comment(s) - last by beemercer.. on Feb 10 at 7:44 PM

Cross section of the 14 TeV ATLAS detector relying on the UW processor - Courtesy CERN
What good is a particle accelerator if you can't take pictures?

Come this April, CERN will get another weapon in the search for the infamous Higgs-Boson particle.  When particles collide in a particle accelerator, the collision occurs so briefly that scientists can only infer what takes place during the collision by analyzing the remaining components left afterwards.  Analyzing that data on the fly takes a lot of calculations, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison has just the solution; a $6M USD grid array processor that can analyze a trillion bits per second. 

The "Regional Calorimeter Trigger" will have the most throughput of any single application processor array to date when it is installed in CERN's Large Hadron Collider this April.  The project took almost a decade to complete with dozens of test trials across various particle accelerations all over the world.

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RE: Processing trillions bits
By Matty P on 2/7/2006 8:50:02 AM , Rating: 2
What you need to remember when looking at European scientific articles is that the real (or long) definition of a trillion is 10 to the power 18 rather than the American shortend 10 to the power 12 (anyone know how to do superscript?). So you need another 6 zeros! ie, 0.0000039936 trillion bits for the Radeon X1900XT.

RE: Processing trillions bits
By Unreal on 2/7/2006 9:11:58 AM , Rating: 2
Hm, the article seemed for an American scientific article as it speaks of wisconsin-maddison university. However i wasnt aware of the ambiguity of the term trillion.

RE: Processing trillions bits
By Matty P on 2/7/2006 9:39:39 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah, the thing that matters is that its for CERN, which is in Switzerland :-) The confusion over the naming of large numbers starts at a billion and then just continues! In Britain we take a billion to mean a million million, then a trillion is a million million million... There are loads of other names to fill in the bits between.

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