I wonder how many of those systems use FPGAs for algorithm acceleration as Xilinx and Alteration claim massive performance gains.
Imagine a supercomputer with Xilinx Virtex-7-2000s that can be cool but also a programming challenge.
We do have cost effective super computing .... it is likely sitting on your desk in front of you!
Supercomputing is all time relative.
A Cray-1 peaked at 160Mips, 250MFlops.... a small fraction of what the processor and GPU in your laptop and desktop are capable of.
So yes, this level of performance will arrive at $100K - $500K, then $5K and maybe even $500 ... it will just take time.
Quite impressive I would say, that too without using the GPUs for number crunching. That they used a Sparc makes it all the more interesting because of it's legacy architecture.
I guess nearly 30% of that power is used by the system itself apart of the cores. But still it is a huge power and could nearly dominate the expenditure for any institution using this level of processing.
of course this mega processing would only be deployed in govt R&D and weather stations in drug development by big pharma companies.
Though these numbers are pleasing, it would be more valuableto see some really affordable super computing within the budget of a medium sized company, say for ex: $100k-500K