With IBM having recently announced it was building a supercomputer with 1.6 million cores capable of 20 petaflops of computing power, its hard to get too jazzed over a single petaflop. But for Europe, breaking the petaflop barrier is something that hasn't been done, but soon will be.
IBM and German research center Forschungszentrum Juelich are collaborating to build a new Blue Gene/P System supercomputer for Europe. It will mark the first time that a supercomputer capable of delivering petaflops of performance will be located outside of the U.S.
"With speeds over a Petaflop, this new Juelich-based supercomputer offers the processing ability of more than 200,000 laptop computers," explains Professor Thomas Lippert, lead scientist of the Juelich supercomputing center. "In addition to raw power, this new system will be among the most energy efficient in the world."
The Blue Gene/P System will house 294,912 processor, 144TB of memory, and 6PB of hard drive storage contained within 72 server racks. Adding to the historical significance, it will also be IBM's first watercooled supercomputer. IBM says the use of watercooling will result in a 91 percent reduction in air conditioning units that otherwise would have been required to cool the data center.