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Long Island Gets IBM Supercomputer

It would take a person with a calculator 83 million years to perform the number of calculations that New York Blue can handle in a single second, according to IBM.
IBM on Friday flipped the switch on a new supercomputer on New York's Long Island that is one of the world's most powerful computing devices.

The new IBM Blue Gene at Brookhaven National Laboratory, dubbed "New York Blue" comprises 18 individual racks that feature a combined 1,024 Power processors capable of 100 teraflop performance.

A teraflop is equal to one trillion arithmetic calculations per second.

For perspective, it would take a person with a calculator 83 million years to perform the number of calculations that New York Blue can handle in a single second, according to IBM.

It's also 8,000 times more powerful than Deep Blue, the IBM supercomputer that defeated Russian chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997.

The fastest computer in the world is currently an IBM supercomputer installed at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and running at 280 teraflops.

Though physically located at Brookhaven, New York Blue will be managed and used by Long Island's Stony Brook University. It will be used for research into renewable energy, medical science and other areas requiring high speed calculations.

New York Blue will act as the centerpiece for the New York Center for Computational Science, a cooperative initiative between Stony Brook and Brookhaven. The Center is tasked with helping scientists solve problems in the areas of energy and nanotechnology.

"Supercomputing power -- the ability to perform massive numbers of calculations at high speed -- is essential for our research into alternative energy sources and many other critical issues," said Shirley Strum Kenny, president of Stony Brook University, in a statement.