IBM unveils water-cooled supercomputer

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IBM has delivered the first of its new range of 'Bluefire' water-cooled supercomputers..

The Power 575 Hydro-Cluster will be installed at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado.

Water-cooled copper plates are placed on each of the supercomputer's 4,064 Power6 processors, and IBM claims that the system is roughly 33 per cent more energy efficient than traditional air-cooling.

The Power 575 sports 12Tb of memory and 150TB of disk storage, and can process data at a peak speed of 76 teraflops (trillion floating-point operations per second).

The machine is expected to be one of the world's 25 most powerful supercomputers, and the NCAR anticipates that the new system to triple its computing capacity.

NCAR plans to use the new supercomputer for modelling climate change, calculating the likelihood of droughts and the effects of global warming on hurricanes.

"Bluefire is on the leading edge of high-performance computing technology," said Tom Bettge, director of operations and services at NCAR's computational and information systems laboratory.

"Increasingly fast machines are vital to research into areas such as climate change and the formation of hurricanes and other severe storms.

"Scientists will be able to conduct breakthrough calculations, study vital problems at much higher resolution and complexity, and get results more quickly than before."
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