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IBM comes on board US nuke program
02-03-2009, 01:46 PM,
IBM comes on board US nuke program
Quote:IBM and Washington have plans to build a supercomputer with the computing power of 2 million laptops to secure the US nuclear stockpile.

Only seven months after it delivered the world's fastest supercomputer that broke the 1 petaflop barrier, IBM announced the commencement of work on 'Sequoia', a system that will log performance speeds of up to 20 petaflops (20,000 trillion floating point operations per second).

The system, which is to be housed at the California-based Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory of the US Department of Energy (DOE), will contain more than 1.6 million processors.

IBM is not disclosing how many cores will be on each chip. Sequoia will also sport some 1.6TB of memory.

Reuters reports that the laboratory initially plans to use the system for simulating nuclear tests. However, other reports claim the program aims to maintain the safety and effectiveness of the nuclear stockpile.

"As weapons age … sometimes problems are found and then the question becomes is this a big deal or not?" NetWorkWorld quoted Seager, noting that high explosives decay over time. "The way we answer this question is through simulation and experimental science."

Since the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed in 1996, US scientists have sought ways to continue to test and develop nuclear weapons without actually detonating them.

The company suggested that the Sequoia system could be used to model weather predictions at speeds up to 40 times faster than current systems, or deliver a 50-fold increase in the speeds at which earthquake simulations could be modeled.

The system is currently scheduled to go online in early 2012.
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