The first new machine is a QS22 BladeCenter server powered by a Cell processor.
Developed to power gaming systems, the Cell chip has also garnered interest from the supercomputing community owing to its ability to handle large amounts of floating point calculations.
IBM hopes that the chips, which currently power climate modelling and other traditional supercomputing tasks, will also appeal to customers ranging from financial analysis firms to animation studios.
To further spark interest in the new systems, IBM has posted an SDK for developers looking to optimise code for the Cell processor.
IBM sees the high-performance systems eventually replacing large data centres with smaller virtualised systems.
"The QS22 is a technological leap over the physical limitations of traditional processors," said Jim Comfort, vice president of IBM's Systems & Technology Group.
IBM plans to release the QS22 BladeCenter server next month.
IBM touts supercomputers for the enterprise
By Shaun Nichols on May 15, 2008 7:35AM