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Published on February 3rd, 2009 | by Ariel Schwartz


IBM Building Energy-Efficient 20 Petaflop Computer

February 3rd, 2009 by  

I have to admit, this news makes me drool a little bit. The US government agreed today to buy two supercomputers from IBM— including one that will scale to 20 petaflops. That’s 10 times the performance of today’s most powerful systems. The Sequoia system will be 15 times faster than BlueGene/P, but will have the same carbon footprint and only a small increase in power consumption.

You may recall that Argonne National Laboratory’s BlueGene/P, which makes 350 million calculations a second per watt, is the second most energy-efficient supercomputer in the world.

The Sequoia system will use 45nm processors with up to 16 cores per chip, and will have 1.6 petabytes of memory feeding its 1.6 million cores. IBM and DOE engineers will begin work on Sequoia in 2011, with an expected completion date sometime in 2012.

Photo Credit: Argonne National Laboratory 

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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.

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