Thursday, January 24, 2008

Moscow State University Gets Blue Gene/P

Moscow State University (MSU) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced details of an agreement to install a Blue Gene/P supercomputer at the Department of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics. The new supercomputer, the first installation of the world famous Blue Gene computer in Russia, will be used for fundamental research in nanotechnology, new materials and life sciences.

"As Russia's leading academic institution, we are very proud that Moscow State University should join the ranks of the world's leading research organisations to tackle some of the most complex and computer intensive problems known to man-kind -- from astrophysics, to molecular modelling," said Viktor Sadovnichiy, Rector of Moscow State University. "This agreement with IBM heralds a new era of supercomputing in Russia."

Moscow State University has agreed to buy two racks of the Blue Gene/P system containing 8.192 densely packed microprocessors. The resulting supercomputer is expected to run at 27.8 trillion operations per second (Tflop/s), 2,600 times faster than today's fastest home PC. Based on the current list, the MSU system would today be amongst the top 50 most powerful supercomputers in the world.

Good for them. Keep in mind that's a *PEAK* speed of 27.8 teraflops. It's probably a sustained speed of around 10 TFlops, maybe 18 Tflops, on benchmarks and even less - a lot less - on real world codes. Even so, the BG/P's are good systems. It's just a consequence of modern computer tech (and some coding practices) that make this true.

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