IBM, which recently announced that it would build a massive supercomputer capable of 20 petaflops of performance, may set new supercomputing records in Europe when it builds a Blue Gene/P System machine in Germany later in 2009. This water-cooled IBM Blue Gene supercomputer could be the first supercomputer in Europe to break the petaflop barrier. Right now, only IBM's Roadrunner system and Cray's Jaguar supercomputer offer petaflops of performance.
is looking to build the first supercomputer in Europe
later in 2009 that passes the petaflop barrier, which will make the machine the
first high-performance computer on the continent to offer a performance of more
than 1 quadrillion calculations per second.
On Feb. 10, IBM and the German research
announced that they would build a new Blue Gene/P System
supercomputer capable of delivering petaflops of performance.
Right now, the only two supercomputers capable of delivering petaflops of performance
are located in the United States.
In 2008, IBM
finished its Roadrunner system for the U.S. Department of Energy's Los Alamos National
Laboratory, in New Mexico.
This machine was the first to officially break
the petaflop barrier and it currently offers a peak performance of 1.105
petaflops, according to the Top 500
The other supercomputer offering petaflops of performance is the Cray
XT Jaguar supercomputer at the
DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.
Earlier in February, IBM
announced that it plans to build a supercomputer called "Sequoia"
that is capable of delivering up to 20 petaflops of compute performance. This
system, which is also being built for the DOE, is slated to go online in 2012.
While IBM's Roadrunner supercomputer is a
hybrid system that uses a combination of IBM's
own Cell processors and Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron chips, the Blue Gene
family of high-performance computers uses processors based on IBM's
Altogether, this IBM supercomputer will
contain 294,912 processors within 72 server racks. The Blue Gene/P System will
also use 144TB of memory and have 6PB of hard disk drive data storage.
The Blue Gene/P System that IBM is
preparing in Germany
will also use water to cool the supercomputer-a first for an IBM
supercomputer. When air passes through the server racks, the heat is removed as
it passes through the water-cooling system before the air reaches the next set
The German Gauss Centre for Supercomputing is also
helping with the installation of this supercomputer, which is being funded by
the German Ministry of Research and the Ministry of Research of