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IBM leverages SoC tech in supercomputer design [EE Times]

Nov 22, 2002 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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This article at EE Times sheds further light on IBM's much heralded Blue Gene/L project. The system will have 65,000 processors in it (wow, that's multiprocessing to the max), will take up 5,000 feet of floor space (not your typical embedded system), and will consume 1.2 MW (that's megawatts, not milliwatts) of power. Linux will also play a big role. Rick Merritt writes . . .

“In a move that some see as setting a new trend for how the world's fastest supercomputers will be designed, the U.S. Department of Energy has tapped IBM Corp.'s system-on-chip (SoC) technology to build a 65,000-processor machine. If the so-called Blue Gene/Light project performs up to expectations, backers maintain, it could point the way for using on-chip multiprocessing to build petaflop computers . . .”

“. . . A node comprises one ASIC, nine memory chips with a total of 256 Mbytes and connectors. Four nodes fit on a single 4 x 2-inch card.”

“The I/O subsystem is based on 1,024 PowerPC 440 I/O processors, one for every 64 nodes. Each runs a version of Linux, has access to 512 Mbytes of local memory and is connected via Gigabit Ethernet. Lawrence Livermore is designing a 400-terabyte remote file system for reading and writing data to Blue Gene/L . . .”

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