Tuesday, February 3rd 2009
IBM will be supplying the US Government with two new supercomputers for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to handle analysis of the U.S. nuclear stockpile. The first is a 500 teraflops supercomputer called the BlueGene/P which the lab will receive by April, the second being the 20 Petaflops supercomputer which is due by 2012. It is estimated to perform up to 10 times greater than the current most powerful systems. More information follows:
BlueGene/P uses a modified PowerPC 450 processor running at 850 MHz with four cores per chip and as many as 4,096 processors in a rack. The Sequoia system will use 45nm processors with as many as 16 cores per chip running at a significantly faster data rate.Source: EETimes
Both BlueGene/P and Sequoia consist of clusters built up from 96 racks of systems. Sequoia will have 1.6 petabytes of memory feeding its 1.6 million cores, but many details of its design have not yet been disclosed.
"The Sequoia system will be 15 times faster than BlueGene/P with roughly the same footprint and a modest increase in power consumption," said Herb Schultz, manager in IBM's deep computing group.
"IBM's BlueGene proposal exceeded our requirements while consuming less than half the power of its closest competitor and less than a third of the most power hungry," said Mark Seager, a principal investigator for supercomputers at Lawrence Livermore. "That is a savings of more than 35 megawatts for the lifetime of the machine and translates to a savings of $24.5 million and 108 kilotons less carbon dioxide expended," he said in an email exchange.
"These powerful machines will provide NNSA with the capabilities needed to resolve time-urgent and complex scientific problems, ensuring the viability of the nation's nuclear deterrent into the future," said NNSA administrator Thomas D'Agostino in a press statement. "This endeavor will also help maintain U.S. leadership in high performance computing and promote scientific discovery," he added.