Blue Gene

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Blue Gene is a computer architecture project to produce several supercomputers, designed to reach operating speeds in the PFLOPS (petaFLOPS) range, and currently reaching sustained speeds of nearly 500 TFLOPS (teraFLOPS). It is a cooperative project among IBM (particularly IBM Rochester and the Thomas J. Watson Research Center), the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the United States Department of Energy (which is partially funding the project), and academia. There are four Blue Gene projects in development: Blue Gene/L, Blue Gene/C, Blue Gene/P, and Blue Gene/Q.

The project was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by U.S. President Barack Obama on September 18, 2009. The president bestowed the award on October 7, 2009.[1]


Blue Gene/L

The first computer in the Blue Gene series, Blue Gene/L, developed through a partnership with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), originally had a theoretical peak performance of 360 TFLOPS, and scored over 280 TFLOPS sustained on the Linpack benchmark. After an upgrade in 2007 the performance increased to 478 TFLOPS sustained and 596 TFLOPS peak.

The term Blue Gene/L sometimes refers to the computer installed at LLNL; and sometimes refers to the architecture of that computer. As of November 2006, there are 27 computers on the Top500 list using the Blue Gene/L architecture. All these computers are listed as having an architecture of eServer Blue Gene Solution.

In December 1999, IBM announced a $100 million research initiative for a five-year effort to build a massively parallel computer, to be applied to the study of biomolecular phenomena such as protein folding. The project has two main goals: to advance our understanding of the mechanisms behind protein folding via large-scale simulation, and to explore novel ideas in massively parallel machine architecture and software. This project should enable biomolecular simulations that are orders of magnitude larger than current technology permits. Major areas of investigation include: how to use this novel platform to effectively meet its scientific goals, how to make such massively parallel machines more usable, and how to achieve performance targets at a reasonable cost, through novel machine architectures. The design is built largely around the previous QCDSP and QCDOC supercomputers.

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