IBM tapped for Nasa supercomputer

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IBM has landed a deal with Nasa to build the space agency's newest supercomputer cluster.

The company will build an iDataPlex cluster system which will combine some 1,024 Intel Xeon quad-core chips with Nasa's existing Discover computing cluster. The combined system will run at a top speed of 67 teraflops, or 67 trillion calculations per second.

The systems also follow IBM's 'Big Green' initiative running with 40 epr cent the power of previous rack-mounted servers while delivering what Big Blue claims to be five times the computing power.

IBM will also provide software for the new system through its xCAT cluster management software and General Parallel File System.

The Discover cluster will be used primarily for climate modeling, as well as some use in examining solar activity and cosmic events. Immediate projects for the system include models of the 21st century climate, reanalyzing previous climate models, and analyzing the affects of solar activity on the planet.

"By nearly tripling Discover's performance, NASA scientists will be able to run models with higher resolution and greater fidelity to the underlying physical phenomena," said Phil Webster, chief of the computational and information sciences and technology office at Goddard Space Flight Center and project manager for the Nasa Center for Computational Sciences.

"IBM's iDataPlex solution for NCCS will provide critical compute power for current and future NASA Earth and space science studies."
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