IBM has won a contract with Los Alamos National Laboratory to build a new supercomputer based on 16,000 AMD Opteron processors together with 16,000 Cell processors.
The Cell processor is the multi-core CPU (8 cores) jointly developed by IBM, Sony and Toshiba that is highly optimized for mathematical calculations. The Cell is set to make it’s debut as the processor inside the PS3, due to ship in Japan and US this November.
The new machine is planned to be 4 times faster than the current fastest supercomputer, IBM’s Blue Gene/L, which performs 280 trillion floating point operations a second. This new supercomputer will be the first machine to break into petaflop performance, or 1 quadrillion floating point operations per second.