IBM takes aim at exaflop computing

IBM client centre, Montpelier, FranceBig Blue said it is collaborating with French high performance agency GENCI to create computers that perform at least one exaflop.

An exaflop represents a billion billion calculations in a second.

IBM said that the fastest systems in the world now operate at between 10 and 33 petaflop and that’s only around one to three percent the speed of exascale computing.

The two will collaborate for 18 months and create complicated scientific applications at speeds of over 100 petaflops.

They will use technologies of over 140 members of the OpenPOWER foundation, all of which concentrate on using IBM’s POWER microprocessors.

Some examples of how this may pan out is connection Nvidia GPU accelerators to the POWER processors using Melanox 100Gb/s Inifiniband switches.

IBM will use its design centre in Mellanox to test and bring into existence much faster applications.

GENCI and IBM appear to be confident that they’ll move the supercomputing industry much closer to the exascale level.