IBM to build new world-leading supercomputer

New supercomputer for US nuclear tests to be twenty times faster than present fastest

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By  Mark Sutton Published  February 4, 2009

IBM has been commission to build a new super computer that will have twenty times more processing power than the current most powerful computer in the world.

The new super computer, named Sequoia, will have 20 petaflops of processing power, equal to 20 quadrillion floating-point operations per second. Sequoia will be used by the US National Nuclear Security Administration for run simulation tests for the US nuclear weapon stockpile.

Sequoia will be built using IBM’s BlueGene supercomputer technology, and will consist of 96 racks, over 98,000 nodes and 1.6 million cores. The supercomputer will have 1.6 PB of memory, and will be supported by a second, a 500-teraflop computer, that will provide the application foundation for computing on Sequoia.

The computer will be deployed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which already houses the current fastest supercomputer, RoadRunner, which has a maximum processing speed of 1,105 teraflops.

IBM said that one hour’s worth of calculations by Sequoia would take the equivalent processing power of the entire population of the planet (6.7 billion) using pocket calculators twenty four hours per day, 365 days per year, for 320 years to match.

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