IBM announced this week that a Linux-based BlueGene/L supercomputer has surpassed NEC's Earth Simulator in Japan to become the world's most powerful supercomputer. Using the industry-standard LINPACK benchmark, IBM's BlueGene/L system attained a sustained performance of 36.01 Teraflops, eclipsing the three year old top mark of 35.86… Teraflops for the Japanese Earth Simulator in Yokohama, Japan, IBM said. The milestone was reportedly attained during internal testing at IBM's production facility in Rochester, Minnesota.
Designed as a new approach to cost effective, ultra-powerful supercomputing, the BlueGene/L system is 1/100th the physical size (320 vs 32,500 square feet) and consumes 1/28th the power (216KW vs 6,000KW) in comparison to the Japanese Earth Simulator, IBM said.
“Yet, this is only a glimpse of BlueGene/L's full potential,” an IBM spokesperson said.
The largest planned BlueGene/L machine, which is scheduled for delivery to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California in early 2005, will occupy 64 full racks, with a peak performance of 360 teraflops, according to IBM. The Advanced Super Computing (ASC) Program of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is a primary collaborator on the BlueGene project. LLNL is operated for the NNSA by the University of California.
IBM says its team of engineers and researchers continues to expand and test the system in anticipation of the upcoming publication of the Top500 Supercomputer list.
According to IBM, the BlueGene/L supercomputer is a work in progress, with much larger systems planned for installation at IBM's TJ Watson Research Center, as well as the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. “The BlueGene/L systems are a revolutionary breakthrough in computing, exploiting advanced IBM POWER microprocessors, similar to those used in game machines and consumer devices,” IBM adds.
For further details on IBM's BlueGene/L project, refer to the following article and the associated whitepaper . . .
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