IBM unveils world’s fastest supercomputer


27 Jun 2007

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IBM has unveiled Blue Gene/P, the smallest and most energy-efficient supercomputer ever made which is three times faster than the current top supercomputer.

Blue Gene/P is capable of carrying out up to 3,000 trillion calculations per second and can continuously operate at one trillion operations per second.

This makes it 100,000 times faster than the average home desktop, or to put it in perspective it can carry out more operations per second than the combined processing power of a 1.5-mile high stack of laptops.

“Blue Gene/P marks the evolution of the most powerful supercomputing platform the world has ever known,” said Dave Turek, vice-president of deep computing, IBM.

The programming environment in the new supercomputer is simpler than its predecessors, making it commercially attractive. The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois will be installing the first one later this year.

The Science and Technology Facilities Council at Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire, UK, as well as the Max Planck Society in Germany are planning on installing the supercomputer later this year.

“We see commercial interest in the Blue Gene supercomputer developing now in energy and finance, for example,” said Turek.

“This is on course with an adoption cycle from government labs to leading enterprises that we’ve seen before in the high-performance computing market.”

Trinity College Dublin currently has Europe’s third-largest Infiniband supercomputer which is capable of up to 3.4 teraflops, or 3.4 trillion operations per second.

By Marie Boran