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IBM Explores Exascale Computer System For 2024

By - Source: IBM | B 39 comments

IBM scored a contract to be exploring the feasibility of an exascale computer system that is powerful enough to collect and store the data generated by the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope.

The SKA is currently developed as a project to result in the world's largest telescope to investigate the origins of the universe. According to current plans, the SKA would include 3,000 45-foot wide dish antennas that are spread over a surface area that is more than 3,000 km or 1,860 miles wide and would either reach from South Africa to the Indian Ocean islands or from Australia to New Zealand. The combined data collecting area of all dishes is about 1 square kilometer (0.30 square miles), which gives the system its name.

IBM says that the a single 1 square kilometer beam of the SKA will deliver "a few exabytes" of data every day, which is 10 to 100 times more than the annual data production of the LHC at CERN and more than the capacity of 15 million 64 GB iPods. After processing, about 300 to 1,500 PB of data will need to stored annually.

An exascale computer system will be required to handle the data processing when the system is projected to go online in 2024. A final decision if, when and where the SKA will be built is expected to be made this year. Companies such as Intel and IBM have said that exascale system may be available in the 2020 time frame. The world's fastest supercomputer currently is just above 10 PFlops of performance, while IBM has laid out plans for a 100 PFlops system with more than 8.3 million processing cores. Exascale systems are predicted to integrate more than 100 million processing cores.

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  • 25 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , April 5, 2012 3:22 PM
    Quote:
    more than the capacity of 15 million 64 GB iPods.


    Thanks Tom's, but we do NOT need analogies for idiots here. We know what's an exabyte and that it's a lot of data. I always perceived these labels on optical disks that say how many minutes of music they can hold as made for clueless "average customers" who are not familiar with data storage units and I find the above comparison to be of the same type.

    Well, this website's audience does NOT consist of such people last I checked. We do NOT need your crappy iPod comparisons.

    /rant over
  • 21 Hide
    fuzznarf , April 5, 2012 3:58 PM
    kingiusPROVE it. ....So the United States nearly went bust but this tremendous waste of money should ensure that it definitely does.I've got an idea for you, sit back, you may find it revolutionary. STOP WASTING MONEY!


    680 billion spent on Nasa in its lifetime....
    Benefits to humanity from nasa = http://www.nasa.gov/50th/50th_magazine/benefits.html
    http://www.sti.nasa.gov/tto/apollo.htm
    http://www.abakaninc.com/media/NASA_SpinOff_MesoCoat_2010.pdf

    8 Trillion spent on "The War on Poverty' in the US alone.....
    Benefits from the war on poverty = a broken black family, millions dependent on the system. record levels of unemployment in the inner city, crime, lower education scores, etc.....

    I prefer my dollars going towards knowledge and research. Unfortunately, you can't force someone to learn, you are proof ;) 

  • 19 Hide
    devBunny , April 5, 2012 3:36 PM
    "more than the capacity of 15 million 64 GB iPods"

    iPod? I've never even seen one, let alone have a handle on what (n * iPods) means. ;-P

    Tell me how many British Libraries it is, or how many Wikipedias or even how many Rocky sequels in HD 4K. Then we'll be talking! ;o)
Other Comments
  • -3 Hide
    eklerus , April 5, 2012 3:20 PM
    Please explore the origins of poverty world hunger and fix them please, aliens like their privacy ^^
  • 25 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , April 5, 2012 3:22 PM
    Quote:
    more than the capacity of 15 million 64 GB iPods.


    Thanks Tom's, but we do NOT need analogies for idiots here. We know what's an exabyte and that it's a lot of data. I always perceived these labels on optical disks that say how many minutes of music they can hold as made for clueless "average customers" who are not familiar with data storage units and I find the above comparison to be of the same type.

    Well, this website's audience does NOT consist of such people last I checked. We do NOT need your crappy iPod comparisons.

    /rant over
  • 17 Hide
    fuzznarf , April 5, 2012 3:30 PM
    eklerusPlease explore the origins of poverty world hunger and fix them please, aliens like their privacy ^^

    Or you could be content with them spending THEIR money on what they want while also benefiting our knowledge of the universe and our existence, thus improving mankind.While they are doing that, you can explore the origins of poverty with your money.
  • 19 Hide
    devBunny , April 5, 2012 3:36 PM
    "more than the capacity of 15 million 64 GB iPods"

    iPod? I've never even seen one, let alone have a handle on what (n * iPods) means. ;-P

    Tell me how many British Libraries it is, or how many Wikipedias or even how many Rocky sequels in HD 4K. Then we'll be talking! ;o)
  • -7 Hide
    Anonymous , April 5, 2012 3:40 PM
    I'm sorry amk-aka-Phantom, but 80-90% of the people here think they're computer experts and know about storage because they own an SSD drive. Analogies like that are helpful if posted correctly - the iPod analogy is horrible though.
  • 16 Hide
    Anonymous , April 5, 2012 3:48 PM
    stop wasting money? It's their money, it's not a government funded project at all. They can do as they wish and you have no rights to demand they spend money where you deem necessary.

    If you want to help humanity go to your local charity and stop complaining
  • 18 Hide
    freggo , April 5, 2012 3:54 PM
    kingius" thus improving mankind"PROVE it. All I see is how this will make a very tiny number of people Very Rich."current plans, the SKA would include 3,000 45-foot wide dish antennas that are spread over a surface area that is more than 3,000 km or 1,860 miles wide and would either reach from South Africa to the Indian Ocean islands or from Australia to New Zealand. "So the United States nearly went bust but this tremendous waste of money should ensure that it definitely does.I've got an idea for you, sit back, you may find it revolutionary. STOP WASTING MONEY!


    Wondering how many times Otto Lilienthal, the Wright brothers, Enrico Fermi and Isaac Newton had to hear this...
  • 21 Hide
    fuzznarf , April 5, 2012 3:58 PM
    kingiusPROVE it. ....So the United States nearly went bust but this tremendous waste of money should ensure that it definitely does.I've got an idea for you, sit back, you may find it revolutionary. STOP WASTING MONEY!


    680 billion spent on Nasa in its lifetime....
    Benefits to humanity from nasa = http://www.nasa.gov/50th/50th_magazine/benefits.html
    http://www.sti.nasa.gov/tto/apollo.htm
    http://www.abakaninc.com/media/NASA_SpinOff_MesoCoat_2010.pdf

    8 Trillion spent on "The War on Poverty' in the US alone.....
    Benefits from the war on poverty = a broken black family, millions dependent on the system. record levels of unemployment in the inner city, crime, lower education scores, etc.....

    I prefer my dollars going towards knowledge and research. Unfortunately, you can't force someone to learn, you are proof ;) 

  • 8 Hide
    freggo , April 5, 2012 3:58 PM
    undraxucaixuNice article!


    Status spam...racking up points for your ego with the same useless message in all articles ?

    How about THG counts the number of positive/negative votes a message poster gets instead of the number of replies he/she is posting?
    That would give a better measurement of the 'quality' of participation !

  • 7 Hide
    silverfish69 , April 5, 2012 4:15 PM
    So just rewrite the old seti@home program for ipods & get 15 million people to run it. :) 
  • -7 Hide
    thomaslompton , April 5, 2012 4:18 PM
    fuzznarfOr you could be content with them spending THEIR money on what they want while also benefiting our knowledge of the universe and our existence, thus improving mankind.While they are doing that, you can explore the origins of poverty with your money.


    Um, they scored a contract, which means it could be OUR money (tax payer dollars), not IBM's money. Although I think it is interesting, that is a lot of money to take pictures of outer space.
  • 11 Hide
    officeguy , April 5, 2012 4:22 PM
    kingius" thus improving mankind"PROVE it. All I see is how this will make a very tiny number of people Very Rich."current plans, the SKA would include 3,000 45-foot wide dish antennas that are spread over a surface area that is more than 3,000 km or 1,860 miles wide and would either reach from South Africa to the Indian Ocean islands or from Australia to New Zealand. "So the United States nearly went bust but this tremendous waste of money should ensure that it definitely does.I've got an idea for you, sit back, you may find it revolutionary. STOP WASTING MONEY!


    This is the future dude. We need to explore other worlds or cosmic resourses to survive in the future. Who needs cars when you have horses, right. You need to see the bigger picture.
  • 14 Hide
    threefish , April 5, 2012 4:36 PM
    "Thanks Tom's, but we do NOT need analogies for idiots here."

    Wow, that's 1.9 million years of music EVERY DAY!!! (assuming 128kbps mp3 encoding)
  • 4 Hide
    fuzznarf , April 5, 2012 4:43 PM
    thomaslomptonUm, they scored a contract, which means it could be OUR money (tax payer dollars), not IBM's money. Although I think it is interesting, that is a lot of money to take pictures of outer space.

    Point taken. I should have been more clear. The money is already budgeted, hence my 'their money' statement.
  • 12 Hide
    drwho1 , April 5, 2012 4:49 PM
    By 2024 we will probably have 20TB hard drives (60TB is still a possibility).
    Anyways, I just want 12 of this drives on my tower for all my "important files"...

  • 12 Hide
    bucknutty , April 5, 2012 4:53 PM
    fuzznarfOr you could be content with them spending THEIR money on what they want while also benefiting our knowledge of the universe and our existence, thus improving mankind.While they are doing that, you can explore the origins of poverty with your money.


    I agree with you.

    Projects like this are a way to spread wealth around. When a rich guys buys a bunch of crap he is not wasting money, he is sharing it. The business where he bought that crap makes money, the employee who sold the crap gets to keep his job, the manufacturer of the crap gets paid.
    Same idea applies here. Some company and contractor is building this stuff. Supplies are produced use and paid for, employees work building it and are paid. Researchers review the data and get paid. All these people have jobs and can feed their families and buy goods which increases the reach of that money.
  • 7 Hide
    Hypertraxx , April 5, 2012 5:10 PM
    BUT, Will it blend????
  • 7 Hide
    eddieroolz , April 5, 2012 5:29 PM
    Holy crap, an exabyte...now that's a unit you don't see everyday.
  • 5 Hide
    back_by_demand , April 5, 2012 5:30 PM
    fuzznarf680 billion spent on Nasa in its lifetime....Benefits to humanity from nasa = http://www.nasa.gov/50th/50th_magazine/benefits.htmlhttp://www.sti.nasa.gov/tto/apollo.htmhttp://www.abakaninc.com/media/NAS [...] t_2010.pdf8 Trillion spent on "The War on Poverty' in the US alone..... Benefits from the war on poverty = a broken black family, millions dependent on the system. record levels of unemployment in the inner city, crime, lower education scores, etc.....I prefer my dollars going towards knowledge and research. Unfortunately, you can't force someone to learn, you are proof

    Good call, proof as if it were needed that simply throwing money at poverty does not fix the problem
    Taking Africa as an example, most charity money goes into a black hole or is pilfered into swiss back accounts by warlords
    ...
    http://www.chinafrica.asia/tag/copper/
    ...
    China ponies up $9 billion to DRC for Copper and Cobolt mining rights, but part of the deal was to build thousands of miles or roads & railways, build schools and hospitals and other infrastructure - this is a good call, if China had just given DRC the money to build it themselves it would never happen.
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