But the company is more concerned with providing the power to pursue answers to "the grand challenges" than with raw speed, said Colin Parris, general manager of IBM Power Systems. Grand challenges, or questions, include how to predict earthquakes in time to take precautions.
"We actually do the supercomputing capability because we're doing the grand challenges," Parris said. "We don't set out to win one of these; if what we do results in our client gaining the top spot, that's perfect but that wasn't our intention."
The IBM Sequoia BlueGene/Q supercomputer, installed at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, runs 16.32 petaflops, using 1.6 million compute cores in 96 racks, each roughly the size of a large refrigerator, Parris said.At the same time IBM has built another highly interesting supercomputer for the National Center for Atmospheric Research that will be used to accelerate the study climate change.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — One of the world's fastest supercomputers is now at work producing some of the highest-resolution modeling yet of everything from weather and climate to energy resources and the ways in which wildfires burn under varying conditions.
The new National Center for Atmospheric Research supercomputer, called Yellowstone, is almost 30 times more powerful and substantially replaces its predecessor at NCAR's Mesa Lab in Boulder, Colo.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday formally inaugurated the $30 million machine, which was developed by IBM and ranks among the world's top 20 fastest. Located on the high plains just west of Cheyenne, it's thought to be the world's fastest computer dedicated solely to earth sciences.More on IBM's supercomputing program and supercomputing architectures at this link.