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Sun Takes On IBM With New Supercomputer

Category: CPU's, Networking, Manufacturers, General News
Posted: 07:23PM

c|net -

Sun hasn't been a big player in the supercomputer arena for a while now, something which they will freely admit. However if everything goes as planned, the Univeristy of Texas' Advanced Computing Center (TACC) will lauch a Constellation System provided by Sun on the 22nd of this month. The system has already been up and running, but this gives those involved a day to make it official (and an excuse to have a party). Sun will look to sell Constellation Systems to other customers after the official launch. Now Supercomputers have always been things which take up a bit of space, and this one is no different. Made up of 82 Sun blade racks, the Constellation system is good for a peak performance of up to 500 teraflops (that's 500 trillion operations per second). That would be a considerable chunk of the cpu power behind the entire [email protected] project!

The key to achieving this kind of performance is the special switch that Sun has engineered to link everything together. Code-named 'Magnum' it has 3,456 ports (an increase on the norm) that allows data pathways to be freed up and speeds along traffic among data storage, servers and memory. Sun also had to invent a new type of cable to connect the Constellation system together. Now if Sun can get a few more of these systems out to customers it may be able to challenge IBM and its Blue Gene systems in the supercomputer rankings. I'm not sure if the Big Blue will be worried yet though.

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