John Markoff of the NY Times writes that Jack Dongarra has run LINPACK on an iPad2. In fact, he obtained performance results that would rival for the CRAY-2 supercomputer, which was the world’s fastest machine in 1985.
Dr. Dongarra’s researchers also discovered that the new iPad2 is about 10 times as fast as its predecessor, the original iPad. That is likely because of some design changes in the microprocessor used in the new version of the Apple tablet. To date, the researchers have run the test on only one of the iPad microprocessor’s two processing cores. When they finish their project, though, Dr. Dongarra estimates that the iPad 2 will have a Linpack benchmark of between 1.5 and 1.65 gigaflops (billions of floating-point, or mathematical, operations per second). That would have insured that the iPad 2 could have stayed on the list of the world’s fastest supercomputers through 1994.