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IBM’s newest supercomputer, Blue Gene/P, is nearly three times as fast as its predecessor and is designed to fit in smaller spaces and use less electricity than other commercially available models.

The second generation supercomputer can operate continuously at speeds exceeding one “petaflop” -- or one-quadrillion operations per second. That makes it 100,000 times more powerful than a home PC and allows it to process more operations in one second than the combined power of a stack of laptop computers nearly 1.5 miles high.

The machine’s power allows supercomputing to attack vital problems in ways never before possible -- modeling an entire human organ to determine drug interactions, for example. Drug researchers could run simulated clinical trials on 27 million patients in one afternoon using just a sliver of the machine’s full power.

“Blue Gene/P marks the evolution of the most powerful supercomputing platform the world has ever known,” said Dave Turek, vice president of deep computing, IBM.

The BlueGene supercomputer design is also energy efficient. It uses many small, low-power embedded chips each connected through five specialized networks inside the system. Today, the Blue Gene/P supercomputer is at least seven times more energy efficient than any other supercomputer.


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