Asus unveiled its first supercomputer on Monday, the desktop computer-sized ESC 1000, which uses Nvidia graphics processors to attain speeds up to 1.1 teraflops.
One teraflop is one trillion flops (floating point operations per second), a measure of computing speed. Computers able to perform at such high speeds can be used in a variety of ways, including scientific research, image manipulation, engineering modeling or for medical purposes.
Asus's ESC 1000 comes with a 3.33GHz Intel LGA1366 Xeon W3580 microprocessor designed for servers, along with 960 graphics processing cores from Nvidia inside three Tesla c1060 Computing Processors and one Quadro FX5800, according to a spec sheet from Asus. The c1060 is a dual-slot PCI card with no graphics ports on the back.
Nvidia has promoted its graphics cores as an alternative to microprocessors to build speedier computers that require less electricity.
The ESC 1000 is made for 64-bit computing and carries 24GB of DDR3 (double data rate, third generation) 1333MHz DRAM. The chassis on the supercomputer is 445mm by 217.5 mm by 545 mm.
The ESC 1000 has a 500GB SATA II hard drive on board and its power supply is rated for 1100 watts.
A note in Asus's literature said the ESC 1000 has a cost structure in software and hardware of $14,519 (£8,900) over five years, but an Asus representative declined to give a per-unit price or when the ESC 1000 would be available globally. The supercomputers are ready to ship, he said.
The ESC 1000 is the result of collaboration between Asustek, Nvidia and Taiwan's National Chao Tung University.