Skip to main content

It's No Game: IBM Uses PlayStation Chip For New Supercomputer

By harnessing a processor originally built for the upcoming Sony PlayStation 3, IBM is building a new supercomputer that is expected to break the petaflop barrier by topping speedz of 1,000 trillion calculations per second.

The new computer, code-named Roadrunner, is a joint project between IBM and the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where it will be installed. Henry Brandt, a senior technical staff member with IBM, said the supercomputer will be built in two phases. The first phase, which cost Congress $35 million, is comprised of a base cluster that runs on the
Linux operating system and uses IBM System x 3755 servers based on AMD Opteron technology.

That phase is slated to be shipped to the national lab next month.

But the computer's real speed boost will come in late in 2007 or early in 2008 when the second phase, which doesn't yet have a price tag, rolls out. At that point, the cluster will be upgraded with the addition of Cell processors, which were originally designed for video game platforms. The hybrid machine will run both types of clusters, boosting peak performance to an expected 1.6 petaflops.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Iran: A Rummy Guide

To borrow a phrase used for Iraq, there are 'things we now know we don't know.'Back in June 2002, as the Bush administration started pushing hard for war with Iraq by focusing on fears of the unknown—terrorists and weapons of mass destruction—Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld explained that when it came to gathering intelligence on such threats, "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." Elaborating, Rumsfeld told a news conference: "There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know."Now there's a crisis brewing with Iran. And the same basic problem applies: what is known, what is suspected, what can be only guessed or imagined? Is danger clear and present or vague and distant? Washington is abuzz now, as it was four years ago, with "sources" talking of sanctions…