Softpedia reports that IBM's octo-core Power7 microprocessor will play a part in the construction of a new supercomputer capable of an initial peak performance of 10 petaflops. The new computer will be named Blue Waters and will be based at the University of Illinois.
According to SP, the machine will become operational next year and will have a theoretical peak computing capability of 16 petaflops. While this will supposedly be achievable by connecting up to 16,384 Power7 nodes, IBM doesn't expect the initial performance to surpass the 10-petaflops mark.
Aside from utilizing water cooling to keep heat under control, Ed Seminaro, an IBMer working on project, says the team has taken extra steps to make the project a little more environmentally friendly. "We took a lot of the infrastructure that's typically inside of the computer room for cooling and powering and moved the equivalent of that infrastructure right into that same cabinet with the server, storage, and interconnect hardware,” Seminaro says. “The whole rack is water-cooled. We actually water-cool the processor directly to pull the heat out. We take it right to water, which is very power efficient.”
So just how fast is this capable-of-10-petaflops supercomputer? Seminaro goes on to say, "The transfer of data between any of those two nodes in the system is at the full rate of 192GB per second—peak. So, you can get data from anyplace to anyplace at that kind of speed with latency on the order of less than one microsecond.”
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