BaCa writes to mention that a new hardware/software combination has been created by a company called ElcomSoft that will reportedly allow cryptography professionals to build cheap PCs that work like supercomputers for the specific task of retrieving lost passwords
. Utilizing a combination of the CPU and the GPU the task of brute forcing a password may be reduced by as much as a factor of 25. "Until recently, graphic cards' GPUs couldn't be used for applications such as password recovery. Older graphics chips could only perform floating-point calculations, and most cryptography algorithms require fixed-point mathematics. Today's chips can process fixed-point calculations. And with as much as 1.5 Gb of onboard video memory and up to 128 processing units, these powerful GPU chips are much more effective than CPUs in performing many of these calculations."