IBM Patents Reveal Plans for 100 Petaflop Blue Gene/Q Super

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Wolfgang Gruener writes that an IBM patent filing reveals plans for a 100 Petaflop supercomputer follow-on to Sequoia. With 8.4 million compute cores, the system will consume almost 16 MW.

IBM is well on its way to achieve the next milestone in supercomputing: BlueGene/Q is estimated to hit a peak performance of 20 Pflop/s, when it will go into operation as “Sequoia” supercomputer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 2012. However, its architecture is now described in a patent that lifts the compute performance to 107 PFlop/s. This would be about 12 times the compute horsepower that is posted by K computer, a Japanese system that claimed the top spot in the Top500 ranking back in June with a peak performance of 8.8 PFlop/s. Five years ago, the industry-leading system was BlueGene/L, which stood at just 280.6 TFlop/s. If IBM’s calculations are correct, then this new BlueGene/Q-based system could be 381 times faster than BlueGene/L.

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  1. Sure – until they decide to cancel the program when they find out they can’t afford to build it. I think people in this community should start seriously questioning all these “claims” – like IBM building these systems – or Intel leading us to exascale. Come on folks – where is the reality check and the voice of reason?

  2. This is just a patent for BG/Q – which technically is scalable up to 100pF – 5X the size of Sequoia – but that would be 5X the price – about $1B.

  3. IBM did not announce anything about supercomputers built with the design, so stop the FUD against IBM.