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U.S. commissions beefy IBM supercomputer

Joab Jackson | Feb. 8, 2011
IBM's 10 petaflop machine, code-named Mira, will be ready by 2012

Each node will have either 8 or 16 gigabytes of memory, aggregating to 750 terabytes of memory across the entire system. Communications among the nodes will go over IBM 5D Torus interconnects, capable of 40 gigabits-per-second throughput.

For an operating system, the compute nodes will run a Compute Node Lightweight open-source scalable kernel, and the I/O nodes and the front-end and service nodes will run a modified version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The system will be mostly water-cooled and consume an average of 60 kilowatts per rack.

IBM did not reveal the price for Mira, though it did say Argonne had purchased it with funds from a $180 million grant.

While this system will be capable of 10 petaflops, the Blue Gene/Q architecture should be able to scale to 50 petaflops and perhaps more, Turek said.

IBM developed the Blue Gene architecture in 1993 as part of a US$100 million development effort in conjunction with LLNL. The research effort was aimed at building out a highly scalable yet energy-efficient architecture for large supercomputers.

 

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