Google: several million processors

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Nick Carr (whom I’ve never met but insist on calling “Nick” like we know each other because it makes me look like one of the cool kids) has a post with an interesting factoid.

The article is about two new special-purpose enterprise supercomputers. The first is IBM’s new Cell-processor-sporting mainframe, designed as “a server system capable of permitting hundreds of thousands of computer users to interact in a three-dimensional simulated on-screen world,” according to Nick’s article. More from IBM here.

The second is Sun’s new video server.

The Sun machine, designed by Andreas Bechtolsheim, is a video server system that is “potentially powerful enough to transmit different standard video streams simultaneously to everyone watching TV in a city the size of New York.”

More from Sun here.

Those are of passing interest to this community, which is why I hadn’t covered them previously. But the most interesting thing for me was the statistic quoted by Nick from his source article, a piece by John Markoff.

Google’s computing prowess has now reached several million processors, according to one person with detailed knowledge of the system.

Holy power bill, Batman.