IBM Building Mega Supercomputer
Countries and companies are quick to point out when one of their computers makes the Top 500 list of supercomputers. A rank in the top 10 certainly garners attention, but what if you were to build a computer so massive it would possess more processing power than all the computers on the Top 500 list combined? IBM is planning a new computer called Sequoia with a goal of reaching 20 petaflops. Just last year, IBM's Roadrunner supercomputer was the first machine to break the 1 petaflop barrier. Sequoia will be housed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and be used by the U.S. Department of Energy for nuclear stockpile research. IBM plans on using 1.6 million processing cores based on a new IBM Power chip design still under development. The system will be housed in 96 racks and have 1.6TB of memory. Lawrence Livermore will be undergoing a massive power system upgrade in conjunction with the project as the new supercomputer is expected to consume 6 megawatts of electricity. Currently, there are only two supercomputers in the world capable of 1 petaflops, IBM's Roadrunner and Cray Inc.'s XT Jaguar, both housed in government laboratories in the U.S. IBM expects to have Sequoia operational in 2012.