The two big hardware stories of last week were the final completion of a replica of the Turing Bombe – the 60-year old machine that broke the WWII Enigma code – and the beginning of the construction of IBM’s Roadrunner, the soon-to-be world’s fastest supercomputer.
Both machines are historically significant, and fascinating in their own way. I thought I’d share some statistics about them...
The ‘Turing Bombe’
Manufacturer: The British Tabulating Machines Company
Date of manufacture: 1940
Processor speed: 17,576 code combinations tested in 6 hours
Size: 7ft x 6ft x 2ft
Use: To break the German Enigma code during World War II
Manufacturer: International Business Machines
Date of manufacture: 2008
Processor speed: 1,600 trillion calculations per second
Size: 12,000 square feet of floor space required
Use: Ensuring the US stockpile of nuclear weapons is safe and reliable
Cost: $35 million