USA orders Sequoia – "the fastest supercomputer in the world"

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Not content with owning the fastest computer in the world, the USA wants to keep its title, so it’s ordered one fifteen times faster. The current fastest, IBM’s Roadrunner, is designed for 1.7 Petaflops, whereas the new one should be able to crank out 20 – that’s 20,000 trillion floating point operations per second. Impressive.

It’ll be packing 1.6 million processor cores, putting my quad-core to shame, and will be based on IBM’s Blue Gene/Q supercomputer. What are they going to use it for? Managing their nuclear weapons stockpile. Yes, they’ve still got that many. It’ll occupy 96 server racks over an area the size of a tennis court, and use 6 megawatts of power.

While they’re building it, they’re building a smaller supercomputer to build the applications that’ll run on the big one. “Dawn” will run at 500 teraflops. The only thing unspecified? How much the whole project’s going to cost. I suspect it won’t be cheap.

(via PC World)

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IBM adds advert serving to DVD spec – film watching is DEAD as a hobby

cillitbang-dvd-ad-ibm.jpgIn a move that sounds like they’re trying to kill off DVD on purpose and force everyone to turn to one of those boring new HD formats, IBM has patented an advert delivery system that can pause DVDs so you have the pleasure of watching an advert.

It’s like they’ve examined the strengths of the DVD format, then created a feature designed specifically to destroy it…