IBM's Blue Gene/L supercomputer broke its own record, to be judged the world's fastest computer.It did 280.6 teraflops.
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, located in California, became the centre of attraction with officials from the Department of Energy and IBM celebrating the completion of the world's fastest supercomputer.
IBM's Blue Gene/L supercomputer broke its own record, to be judged the world's fastest computer. The Blue Gene/L did a whopping 280.6 teraflops i.e. 280.6 trillion calculations per second, superceding its June record of 136.8 teraflops, setting a brand new record of sorts.
What Blue Gene is now able to do every second, any person in the world with a handheld calculator would take decades to accomplish.
Blue Gene/L derives its name from a protein folding study, that inspired the project. According to sources at Livermore, Blue Gene started off as an R&D machine and was later turned into a production machine. Together with another 100 teraflops system called ASC Purple, Blue Gene is expected to work on safeguarding the US's stockpile of nuclear weapons.
While Blue Gene will work on materials ageing calculations, molecular dynamics, material modelling plus turbulence and instability in hydrodynamics; ASC Purple will use this information to run 3D weapons' codes required to simulate nuclear weapons performance quickly.
Now, the race is on to reach a petaflop i.e. 1,000 trillion calculations per second, a milestone, which could change the way we look at science, engineering and business, and more importantly, will have IBM and its government partners at loggerheads with Japan, in a bid to reach the target.
Supercomputers are increasingly carving out a niche for themselves in several spheres. Recently, they became a major tool in a range of advanced biological applications. Astronomers have drawn inspiration from them; their immense processing power has been used to improve the accuracy of weather forecasts, etc.
Reportedly, IBM is trying to hard-sell its Blue Gene design to commercial markets, in addition to universities and research labs who have been its earlier customers.
Meanwhile sources reveal that the Japanese Ministry of Science and Technology plans to build a new supercomputer, which might do around 10 petaflops by 2011.
In any case, Japan's Earth Simulator supercomputer, built by NEC Corporation, was considered the world's fastest till Blue Gene/L arrived on the scene, to overtake its speed of 35.9 teraflops last year.