World’s fastest Super Computer: Blue Gene/L

Blue Gene /L

Super Computing, a very frequent word used in the world of Technology, and from Super Computing, the world’s fastest Super Computer Blue Gene/L. Blue Gene is an IBM Research project dedicated to exploring the frontiers in supercomputing: in computer architecture, in the software required to program and control massively parallel systems, and in the use of computation to advance our understanding of important biological processes such as protein folding.

The Blue Gene/L machine was designed and built in collaboration with the Department of Energy’s NNSA/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, and the LLNL system has a peak speed of 596 Teraflops.This machine is 15 times faster than, consume 15 times less power per computation, and 50 to 100 times smaller than other Super Computers and recently broken it’s own speed record, reaching 135.5 Teraflops means 135.5 trillion calculations per second, that is double the speed it clocked up to take it to the number one spot in the top 500 Super Computer league.

In previous year, It has achieved the speed of 70.72 teraflops to beat japan’s NEC Earth Simulator. Now, Blue Gene’s new record was achieved by doubling the number of current racks to 32. Each rack holds 1,024 processors, yet the chips are the same as those found in high-end computers on the High Street.

As IBM decided to undertake this adventurous research project for specially the study of bio molecular phenomena such as protein folding. The project has two main goals: to advance our understanding of the mechanisms behind protein folding via large scale simulation, and to explore novel ideas in massively parallel machine architecture and software. This project should enable bio molecular simulations that rae orders of magnitude larger than current technology permits. We include an overview of proteins and the protein folding problem, including structure prediction and studies of mechanisms.

Major Features of Blue Gene/L :

The Blue Gene/L supercomputer is unique for the following features:

  • Trading the speed of processors for lower power consumption.
  • Dual processors per node with two working modes: co-processor (1 user process/node: computation and communication work is shared by two processors) and virtual node (2 user processes/node)
  • System-on-a-chip design
  • A large number of nodes (scalable in increments of 1024 up to at least 65,536)
  • Three-dimensional torus interconnect with auxiliary networks for global communications, I/O, and management
  • Lightweight OS per node for minimum system overhead (computational noise)

Architecture of Blue Gene/L :

Each Compute or I/O node is a single ASIC with associated DRAM memory chips. The ASIC integrates two 700 MHz PowerPC 440 embedded processors, each with a double-pipeline-double-precision Floating Point Unit (FPU), a cache sub-system with built-in DRAM controller and the logic to support multiple communication sub-systems. The dual FPUs give each Blue Gene/L node a theoretical peak performance of 5.6 GFLOPS (giga FLOPS).

The last known supercomputer in the Blue Gene series, Blue Gene/Q is aimed to reach 10 PFLOPS in the 2010-2012 time frame. It will continue to expand and enhance the Blue Gene/L and /P architectures with higher frequency at similar performance/watt. Blue Gene/Q will have a similar number of nodes but many more cores per node

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