updated 04:05 pm EDT, Tue June 26, 2007
IBM Blue Gene/P
IBM has made public the existence of the Blue Gene/P, which the company says is the fastest supercomputer in the world. At its normal, continuous speed, the P is cable of speeds in excess of one petaflop, or a quadrillion operations per second. This is nearly three times faster than the previous Blue Gene/L, and approximately 100,000 times faster than a home PC. Critically for any company or agency considering a P, power consumption on the computer is said to be seven times more efficient.
For the most demanding tasks, the system can be specially configured to surpass three petaflops, although not on a permanent basis. The primary use of the P will be in complex simulations for the sciences, such as particle physics; some of IBM's first clients will include the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, and Germany's Max Planck Society. Both agencies will have their systems installed later this year.