The word "supercomputer" entered the mainstream lexicon in 1996 and 1997 when IBM's Deep Blue supercomputer challenged the world chess champion in two tournaments broadcast around the world.
Since then, IBM has been busy improving its supercomputer technology and tackling much deeper problems.
Their latest project, code named Blue Gene, is poised to shatter all records for computer and network performance.
What is a Super Computer
A supercomputer is a computer that is at the frontline of current processing capacity, particularly speed of calculation.
Today, supercomputers are typically one-of-a-kind custom designs produced by "traditional" companies such as Cray, IBM and Hewlett-Packard, who had purchased many of the 1980s companies to gain their experience.
Why we need Super Computers
Supercomputers are very useful in highly calculation-intensive tasks such as
Problems involving quantum physics,
Molecular modeling (computing the structures and properties of chemical compounds, biological macromolecules, polymers, and crystals),
Physical simulations (such as simulation of airplanes in wind tunnels, simulation of the detonation of nuclear weapons, and research into nuclear fusion).
Why we need Super Computers
Also, they are useful for a particular class of problems, known as Grand Challenge problems, full solution for such problems require semi-infinite computing resources.
NASA™s Linux-based Super Computer
Why Supercomputers are Fast
Several elements of a supercomputer contribute to its high level of performance:
Numerous high-performance processors (CPUs) for parallel processing
Specially-designed high-speed internal networks
Specially-designed or tuned operating systems
What is Blue gene
Blue Gene is a computer architecture project designed to produce several supercomputers that are designed to reach operating speeds in the PFLOPS (petaFLOPS = 1015) range, and currently reaching sustained speeds of nearly 500 TFLOPS (teraFLOPS = 1012).
It is a cooperative project among IBM(particularly IBM Rochester and the Thomas J. Watson Research Center), the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the United States Department of Energy (which is partially funding the project), and academia.
Why Blue Gene
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 the understanding of important biological processes such as protein folding.
Learning more about biomolecular mechanisms is expected to give medical researchers better understanding of diseases, as well as potential cures.
Why the name Blue gene
Blue - The corporate color of IBM
Gene - The intended use of the Blue Gene clusters was for Computational biology.
Blue Gene Projects