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IBM to Build World's Fastest Supercomputer
« on: February 06, 2009, 07:35:34 PM »
IBM-to-Build-World-039-s-Fastest-Supercomputer-3 - IBM to Build World's Fastest Supercomputer - Technology

IBM has just announced that it has signed an agreement that will enable it to build its next-generation BlueGene supercomputers, for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). IBM is expected to deliver two systems, one of which will be dubbed Sequoia, will provide a performance of 20 petaflops and will be based on future BlueGene technology.

“The longstanding partnership of NNSA, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and IBM is ushering in an era of multi-petaflops computing,” said NNSA administrator, Thomas D’Agostino. “These powerful machines will provide NNSA with the capabilities needed to resolve time-urgent and complex scientific problems, ensuring the viability of the nation’s nuclear deterrent into the future. This endeavor will also help maintain U.S. leadership in high performance computing and promote scientific discovery.”

The Sequoia is set to be delivered starting in 2011 and will be deployed in 2012. With a speed of 20 petaflops, the system is expected to be the most powerful supercomputer in the world, consequently being 10 times faster than today’s similar machine. The Sequoia will be built on another system, called Dawn, which will be capable of delivering a speed of 500 teraflops, and which is scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2009.

According to the available specifications, Sequoia will have 1.6 petabytes of memory, 96 racks, 98.304 compute nodes and 1.6 million cores. An IBM spokesman said that Sequoia would not be designed as a hybrid system, like the Roadrunner. It will be based on a future generation of IBM Power processors.

To better put into perspective what 20 Petaflops actually means, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory said that “if each of the 6.7 billion people on earth had a hand calculator and worked together on a calculation 24 hours per day, 365 days a year, it would take 320 years to do what Sequoia will do in one hour.”

We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.

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