New IBM Computer
The sound barrier. The four-minute mile. The moon. So many milestones that once seemed insurmountable are now written in the record books of human and technological achievement. Now IBM has added another to that list: the petaflop.
A milestone in perspective:
IBM’s latest Roadrunner system, designed for the U.S. Department of Energy and its Los Alamos Lab, is the first supercomputer to achieve performance at the petaflop level. The accomplishment was announced today by the U.S. Department of Energy in conjunction with the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration, TOP500.org and IBM.
Read what IBMers are saying about Roadrunner:
This type of breakthrough was just what Thomas Watson wanted for his company when he implemented the THINK motto in IBM in 1914. "Thought has been the father of every advance since time began," said Watson. That mantra is in part what drives IBMers to achieve technical greatness and why IBM technology has helped people walk on the moon, see surface pictures of Mars, map the human genome and achieve countless other breakthroughs.
Every IBMer can be proud of this supercomputing milestone. It speaks volumes to our heritage as a company that embraces possibility, inspiration and a culture of innovation. In the world of industry firsts, everyone remembers the company that makes a technical mark of such unprecedented scale.
Roadrunner is twice as fast as IBM's Blue Gene system at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, which has, at least until now, been the world's fastest supercomputer. Roadrunner is six times faster than our competition's systems.
How fast is it? One petaflop equals one thousand trillion flops or one quadrillion calculations per second. The fastest computer in the world 10 years ago was capable of one teraflop (one trillion calculations per second). Since that time, supercomputing power has increased by 1,000 times. In fact, a complex physics calculation that will take the Roadrunner system one week to complete would take the 1998 machine 20 years to finish, which means it would only be 50 percent complete today.
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