secured the top spot in the rankings for world’s
fastest supercomputer as Blue Gene/L ran at a sustained speed of 36.01
teraflops, or trillions of calculations per second, this week.
Blue Gene/L knocked NEC’s Earth Simulator from the top spot on the Top
500 list for world’s fastest computers. At a peak speed of 35.86 teraflops
machine in 2002.
Armonk, N.Y.’s IBM achieved the milestone during a Linpack benchmark test
for mathematical computations at IBM’s production facility in Rochester,
Minn., according to an IBM statement.
IBM said that Blue Gene/L is special for its size compared to the Yokohama,
Japan-based Simulator, which gauges climate changes. Blue Gene/L is
one-hundredth the physical size (320 vs. 32,500 square feet) and consumes
one-twentieth the power (216 kilowatts vs. 6,000 KW) compared to the Earth
While it is true many supercomputers are used to help map out defense
systems for nations, IBM is proud of the fact that Blue Gene/L is geared toward
For example, the largest planned Blue Gene/L machine, which is scheduled for
delivery to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California in
early 2005, will occupy 64 full racks, with a peak performance of 360
LLNL researchers will use the machine to simulate cosmology and the behavior
of stellar binary pairs, laser-plasma interactions, and the behavior and
aging of high explosives.
Earlier this month, the Tokyo-based Computational Biology Research Center
(CBRC) of The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and
Technology (AIST) in Japan tabbed
Blue Gene/L to map out 3-D protein structures.
Other practical uses for Blue Gene systems will be in the oil and life
sciences sectors. In addition to NEC
and IBM, HP
and Sun Microsystems
populate the Top 500