IBM intro news cell blade

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IBM has announced the QS21 cell-based blade, replacing the QS20. The QS21 offers several improvements over the 20. According to coverage at eWeek

IBM logoIn addition to including two Cell processors, each running at 3.2GHz, IBM has increased the system memory from 1GB to 2GB per processor. The new blade system also supports dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, and customers also have the option of dual-port 4X InfiniBand fabrics that are connected through a PCI Express port.

The QS21 blade server measures about 1U (1.75 inches), which means that 14 systems can fit into a standard IBM BladeCenter chassis. With the older QS20, only seven blades could fit into the chassis.

According to the company

The IBM BladeCenter QS21 is one of the most power efficient computing platforms to date, generating a measured 1.05 Giga Floating Point Operations Per Second (GigaFLOPS) per watt. With its peak performance of approximately 460 GFLOPS, clients can achieve 6.4 Tera Floating Point Operations Per Second (TeraFLOPS) in a single BladeCenter chassis and over 25.8 TeraFLOPS in a standard 42U rack.

The cell blades are an attempt to move the benefits of HPC into the enterprise by providing exotic technology in a familiar package. The QS21

…will bring the multicore acceleration technology made possible by the Cell/B.E. processor to clients and developers in a wide range of industries, including those that create and run highly visual, graphic and immersive, real-time applications such as 3D rendering, compression, and encryption.

The new blades will be generally available on October 26.


  1. […] The chip which powers Sony’s Playstation 3, the Cell Broadband Engine, runs on a similar concept – one main “quarterback” processor (a PowerPC core not unlike the ones that used to run the Macintosh machines before Apple switched to using Intel chips) and 8 “synergistic processing elements” (their name, not mine) which can be programmed to do high-speed math calculations. The result is a very flexible chip which Toshiba has adapted to help with high-def video in its Qosmio laptops and Cell TV designs and IBM has adapted to make supercomputers. […]