One of the Fastest Supercomputers in the World

Our eyes can extract amazing information from the light that passes through them by mapping the distribution of light across the field of view. Such a “map” is what we call an image.

To make images from millimetre-wavelength light gathered by multiple antennas, we need absolutely colossal computing power. The signals coming from each pair of antennas — there are 1,125 pairs in just the extended array — must be mathematically compared billions of times every second.

It would take approximately three million domestic laptops to carry out the same quantity of operations per second as the ALMA correlator. Do the maths and you’ll discover why — for a lot less money — the ALMA collaboration decided to create the ALMA correlator (shown here), one of the fastest supercomputers in the world.

Credit:

ESO/A.Duro

About the Image

Id:img_3627-editar-cc
Type:Photographic
Release date:23 April 2014, 10:08
Size:5616 x 3744 px

About the Object

Name:Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array
Type:• Unspecified : Technology : Observatory : Facility
• X - ALMA

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