The University of Illinois is about to become home to IBMs newest supercomputer, the Blue Waters. When it is finished in 2011, it will be the most powerful supercomputer allowing public access. With the aid of Big Blue’s new Power7 processors, the rig is expected to be capable of a staggering 16 petaflops. IBM did, however, clarify that initial peak performance is likely to be closer to 10 petaflops, with sustained real-world performance in the neighborhood of 1 petaflop.
IBM’s fears about overheating led them to develop a special water-cooling system for the whole rack, processor and all. This Power7 chip sounds like a nice way to play Crysis, right? You might be worried that this kind of power will be reserved just for wealthy governments and super villains. Well, luckily the Power7 will ship out in business servers sometime in 2010. Start saving those pennies.