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IBM may build fastest supercomputer

IBM may build fastest supercomputer

IBM looks set to build the world's fastest supercomputer for an eye-watering £98 million.

The first computer that can deliver one petaFLOPS, or one thousand trillion floating point operations per second, may be built by IBM and housed at the National Centre for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois according to documents procured by the New York Times.

With a build cost of £98 million and an operating cost of more than £196 million over the next five years, the new supercomputer has been surrounded by controversy as numerous supercomputer centres and United States state governments have vied for the award.

For the better part of the two decades, the fastest computers in the country have been at either the national laboratories at Los Alamos, New Mexico, or Livermore, California and have been primarily used in the design and preservation of nuclear weapons and other classified applications.

The new supercomputer, however, will concentrate on major science projects like simulating the impact of global warming and will represent a shift in the balance of computing power between military and scientific computing centres.

The decision isn't final though as the National Science Board must ratify it before the award is given.

What other types of scientific applications do you think this new supercomputer will be used for? Let us know what you think in the comments section below or over in the forums.

33 Comments

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iwog 7th August 2007, 14:29 Quote
Wooo, a big powerful computer that isn't being used to think up more ways to kill us. I hope it goes through as golbal warming est bad
sgr55 7th August 2007, 14:41 Quote
I'll take 2 :)

Seriously scary how much power that thing will have. Hell, it's scary to think about the software written to run on one of them.
Wonder how it would compare with one of these distributed computing projects (SETI etc)
Duste 7th August 2007, 15:32 Quote
Wonder how good this would be at Folding, eh? :P
steveo_mcg 7th August 2007, 15:35 Quote
Dear national supercomputer place would you care to join the bit folding team, regards us.
Brooxy 7th August 2007, 17:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by iwog
Wooo, a big powerful computer that isn't being used to think up more ways to kill us.

At least that's what we're being told...

They say it's for global warming to be solved, but how much power would go into running the thing?
Delphium 7th August 2007, 17:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooxy
At least that's what we're being told...

They say it's for global warming to be solved, but how much power would go into running the thing?

HAH, my thoughts exactly, by the time they finished running there calculations they would have worked out they could have saved man kind a further 10years by not running that beast.


I bet it will run Oblivion and Crysis like liquid though :D
Amon 7th August 2007, 17:45 Quote
Does it come in a colour other than IBM Black?
Bauul 7th August 2007, 18:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amon
Does it come in a colour other than IBM Black?


Now THAT would be a case mod project and a half!
devdevil85 7th August 2007, 18:07 Quote
What do they do with the parts for old/out-of-date supercomputers? Do they auction them off or what?
The_Beast 7th August 2007, 18:12 Quote
Wow cool computer
g3n3tiX 7th August 2007, 18:41 Quote
Does it run Doom ?

more seriously, there's a flaw : a huuuge power hungry beast (wattage of such a thing ?) is used to calculate and simulate the effects of global warming. Sweeet irony indeed.
Techno-Dann 7th August 2007, 19:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by devdevil85
What do they do with the parts for old/out-of-date supercomputers? Do they auction them off or what?

If you're in the right place at the right time, you can pick up a mid-80s Cray for $5000 or so... They're usually torn apart for the bits of gold in them. Of course, a QX6800 will run circles around it, but it's still a Cray.

Imagine turning a Cray into a modern Beowulf cluster... Talk about a nifty case mod.
jweller 8th August 2007, 00:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Beast
Wow cool computer

I wish you egghead types would stop talking in such arcane techie talk. ;)
Zurechial 8th August 2007, 00:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delphium
I bet it will run Oblivion and Crysis like liquid though :D

I bet it won't. :p

If I'm not mistaken, Supercomputers are built as pure calculation powerhouses, not the kind of hardware we're familiar with that'll run x86 software.
I doubt it's even possible to load *any* desktop-computer software on it at all :p

Mind you, I'm far from being an expert on the topic..
Techno-Dann 8th August 2007, 00:42 Quote
You could probably emulate an x86 CPU and DX10-compliant video card, and have enough power left to run either game quite nicely...
Zurechial 8th August 2007, 00:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techno-Dann
You could probably emulate an x86 CPU and DX10-compliant video card, and have enough power left to run either game quite nicely...

Point. :)
Shadowed_fury 8th August 2007, 00:49 Quote
42... Yeah!
completemadness 8th August 2007, 04:55 Quote
wow, should be interesting

Don't they currently hold the award anyway, with bluegene ? i thought that was the fastest supercomputer in the world
Although it does have a MTBF of like 4 hours

Oh and as to the computing bit of it, modern super computers basically are a baewolf cluster, it because too difficult to build ginormous motherboards, so now their just lots of multi-cored, multi socketed computers
Bauul 8th August 2007, 10:28 Quote
I bet if you cracked it open, all you'd find is an Internet connection that links to millions of desktop PCs worlwide that are acting as zombies for it.

That, or an old, wizend man with a long beard.
CardJoe 8th August 2007, 10:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
I bet if you cracked it open, all you'd find is an Internet connection that links to millions of desktop PCs worlwide that are acting as zombies for it.

That, or an old, wizend man with a long beard.

N'ah. There'd be a mouse and a potato inside.

Why? Well, the mouse would run a treadmill, to power the potato. D'uh.
Delphium 8th August 2007, 13:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
I bet if you cracked it open, all you'd find is an Internet connection that links to millions of desktop PCs worlwide that are acting as zombies for it.

rofl! :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
N'ah. There'd be a mouse and a potato inside.

Why? Well, the mouse would run a treadmill, to power the potato. D'uh.

:|
Sure its not the other way round?
According to this news article (link below), the patato would be powering the treadmill :? :D
http://totl.net/Spud/media/news.bbc.co.uk/

Or Joe has just cracked it as to why the patatos have the power, because of the mice!!!
simosaurus 8th August 2007, 15:40 Quote
a few lemons would work too
Bauul 8th August 2007, 16:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by simosaurus
a few lemons would work too

Don't be absurd, lemons don't grow in the desert.
CardJoe 8th August 2007, 16:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
Don't be absurd, lemons don't grow in the desert.

turkeyman cheesecake!
Bauul 8th August 2007, 16:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
turkeyman cheesecake!

Two words: Lenin. Desert.
Krikkit 8th August 2007, 16:23 Quote
I had no idea that supercomputers were so cheap! £300m for the world's fastest supercomputer, for 5 years! Bargain imho.
kenco_uk 8th August 2007, 16:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
turkeyman cheesecake!

How random.

There's no mice, there's certainly no potatoes and definately no lolcats.

Supercomputers are measured in hpi (hamsters per inch).

Surely everyone knows that?!

Btw, there's jobs available to work on that supercomputer in the weekly rag I get at work.
CardJoe 8th August 2007, 16:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
Two words: Lenin. Desert.

Sulk Station Iceberg 2000!
Sandwich 9th August 2007, 22:33 Quote
I bet you, 3 or so months after this thing is installed. It send messages to all our computers stating "All your Ghz are belong to us". Then proceed to destroy us all, but our only hope was the Pentium II's that it ignored. That would make an instense movie... imagine if this became a transformer :| hmmmmm
simosaurus 9th August 2007, 23:14 Quote
lol
The_Beast 9th August 2007, 23:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk
Supercomputers are measured in hpi (hamsters per inch).

Surely everyone knows that?!

lol
G0UDG 12th August 2011, 08:43 Quote
what fps would I get in pacman? and also will it run tic tac toe lol
Fizzban 12th August 2011, 20:59 Quote
They didn't call it Daedalus did they?
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