Thursday, February 17, 2011

IBM Builds Super Supercomputer

IBM Builds 750,000 Core Supercomputer


IBM said it has been contracted by the DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory to build a new supercomputer that is seen as a stepping stone to Exascale computing.

Mira will be IBM’s latest supercomputer based on its BlueGene architecture, this time in the BlueGene/Q version. The system is targeted to provide a maximum processing performance of 10 PFlop/s, which translates to 10 quadrillion calculations per second. The company did not release specific details, but noted that researchers will have to scale their applications to about 750,000 cores to take advantage of Mira. The performance is about twice what the world’s fastest supercomputer currently offers.
If 750,000 cores sounds a lot, imagine that IBM already talks about exascale supercomputers that will feature (100s of millions of cores). Exascale supercomputers, which are at least 100 times faster than Mira, are expected to be available around 2020.
Argonne said that the new supercomputer will be “one of the fastest and most energy efficient supercomputers in the world after its construction and installation are complete” thanks to a combination of “innovative new chip designs and extremely efficient water cooling.” There has been no information when Mira will go into service.

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