IBM To Build World's Fastest Supercomputers In 2003/2004
Posted by [PM], 11/20/2002 10:29 AM
IBM has signed contracts with the U.S. Department of Energy to built two supercomputers in 2003/2004 valued at $216 to $267 million US each. The two systems will have more combined processing power than the combined power of all 500 machines on the recently announced TOP500 List of Supercomputers.
The first system - called ASCI Purple - will offer the Department of Energy the world's first supercomputer capable of up to 100 teraflops, more than twice as fast as the most powerful computer in existence today. ASCI Purple will consist of a cluster of POWER-based IBM systems and IBM storage systems. It represents a fifth-generation system under the ASCI Program. ASCI Purple will serve as the primary supercomputer in the department's Advanced Simulation and Computing program, commonly known as ASCI. The DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Stockpile Stewardship Program will rely on ASCI Purple to simulate the aging and operation of U.S. nuclear weapons, helping ensure the safety and reliability of the nation's stockpile without underground testing. The second supercomputer, a research machine called Blue Gene/L, will employ advanced IBM semiconductor and system technologies based on new architectures being developed in the partnership between IBM and the DOE for the government's ASCI Program. When completed, Blue Gene/L will have a theoretical peak performance of up to 367 teraflops with 130,000 processors running Linux. It will have the capability to process data at a rate of one terabit per second, equivalent to the data transmitted by 10,000 weather satellites. The supercomputer will be used by the three NNSA laboratories (Los Alamos, Sandia and Lawrence Livermore) and the ASCI University Alliance collaborators as well as other DOE laboratories in the future. Blue Gene/L will be used to develop and run a broad suite of scientific applications including the simulation of very complex physical phenomena of national interest, such as turbulence, prediction of material properties, and the behavior of high explosives. A human brain's probable processing power is around 100 teraflops, roughly 100 trillion calculations per second, according to Hans Morvec, principal research scientist at the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University. This is based on factoring the capability of the brain's 100 billion neurons, each with over 1,000 connections to other neurons, with each connection capable of performing about 200 calculations per second. Source: IBM
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