Apple's iPad 2 is as fast as a supercomputer from 1985

Posted by Radu Tyrsina

Hey now! Did you know that Apple's iPad 2 is as fast as a supercomputer from good ol' 1985?

Seriously.

This little known fact was discovered by Jack Dongarra, a CS researcher at the University of Tennessee who routinely monitors world’s 500 fastest processing computers using the Linpack benchmark.

Apple's iPad 2 is as fast as a supercomputer from 1985After carrying out a series of tests, Dongarra and his team confirmed what Apple fanbois have long suspected: the iPad 2 is as fast as a supercomputer from everyone's favorite decade.

How so?

Well, 26 years ago, one version of the Cray 2 supercomputer had four processors. Its counterpart - an eight processor iteration - was officially ranked the world’s fastest computer.

Invented by yes, Seymour Cray, the system was rather...unusual. It was kept in an aquarium-like space and cooled with Flourinert, a substance which was also used as blood alternative during surgeries.

Interestingly enough, only one of two tablet processing cores were tested. Dongarra believes that after both processing cores are evaluated, Apple's iPad 2 will score between 1.5 and 1.65 gigaflops, meaning, the iPad 2 would have been on par with the world’s supercomputers until 1994.

After having analyzed Apple’s slate, Dr. Dongarra says he is considering building a supercomputer made entirely of iPad tablets, although he admits it is no easy task.
 
"To put together multiple iPads to make a cluster is a bit challenging. They would [also] have to be jailbroken and then use wireless for the inter-iPad communication."
 
Together with his colleague, Steve Wallach, Dr. Dongarra has even come up with a name for the fantasy supercomputer – NOP (network of Pads).

[Via New York Times