Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Blast from the Past: BYU's Bendix G15

The Daily Universe is doing a retrospective of BYU news from the 1960s. Today's articles included a piece on the new Bendix computer for the Mechanical Engineering Department.

The Bendix G15, which went for $55,000, does an astounding 50 floating point operations per second (flops)! These days, the Fulton Supercomputing Center at BYU has a machine, MarylouX, that does about 1 trillion flops.

To put that in perspective, if each computer moved one inch for every floating point operation completed, then the Bendix would move about 2 feet in 1 second and MarylouX would move back and forth from here to the moon 32 times and be almost done with the 33rd trip in 1 second. That's progress.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The G-15 never did 50 floating point operations in any second of its existence! I reckon it made about 3 FLOPS when it was screaming with Oklahoma University's optimized floating point library. It might be closer to 2...

Rob Kolstad