IBM Supercomputer Expected To Blow Past Petaflop Barrier - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Hardware & Infrastructure
06:10 PM

IBM Supercomputer Expected To Blow Past Petaflop Barrier

By harnessing a processor originally built for the Sony PlayStation 3, IBM is building a machine that's expected to work at a speed of 1,000 trillion calculations per second.

Never say that nothing good comes out of computer games. By harnessing a processor originally built for the upcoming Sony PlayStation 3, IBM is building a supercomputer that's expected to smash the petaflop barrier with a speed of 1,000 trillion calculations per second.

The new computer, code-named Roadrunner, teams IBM with the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where it will be installed. Henry Brandt, a senior technical staff member with IBM, says the supercomputer will be built in two phases. The first, for which Congress laid out $35 million, is a base cluster that runs on the Linux operating system and uses IBM System x 3755 servers based on AMD Opteron technology. That system is slated to ship to the national lab next month.

But the computer's real speed boost comes late next year or early 2008 with phase two. The cluster will get an upgrade with the addition of Cell chips, designed for video game consoles. The hybrid machine will run both the AMD and Cell chips, amplifying peak performance to an expected 1.6 petaflops.

The real challenge ahead lies in building software sophisticated enough to examine a calculation and decide which processor to assign to it, Addison Snell of IDC says.

IBM's Blue Gene/L is currently the fastest supercomputer in the world, peaking at more than 280 teraflops. IBM is working to speed up Blue Gene/L and expects it to pass the petaflop barrier as well.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
COVID-19: Using Data to Map Infections, Hospital Beds, and More
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/25/2020
Enterprise Guide to Robotic Process Automation
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  3/23/2020
How Startup Innovation Can Help Enterprises Face COVID-19
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  3/24/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
IT Careers: Tech Drives Constant Change
Advances in information technology and management concepts mean that IT professionals must update their skill sets, even their career goals on an almost yearly basis. In this IT Trend Report, experts share advice on how IT pros can keep up with this every-changing job market. Read it today!
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll