IBM to build the "ultimate" supercomputer.

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by peter2002, Nov 18, 2002.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Aug 1, 2002
    Dallas, TX
    IBM starts work on computer to rival the human brain

    By Mark Henderson, Science Correspondent

    The first supercomputers to approach and even surpass the processing power of the human brain are to be built by IBM, under a £184 million contract announced by the US Government yesterday.

    ASCI Purple and Blue Gene/L will be the fastest and most powerful machines built, with a combined capacity equal to the 500 best of today’s computers.

    ASCI Purple, which will be built first and used to simulate nuclear tests, will be able to complete 100 thousand billion calculations per second — a speed known as 100 teraflops that some scientists say is comparable to the human brain.

    Blue Gene/L, which has a broader range of functions and will be used by US Department of Energy’s three main laboratories, will be more powerful still, with a maximum speed of 360 teraflops.

    The computers, which will be built by 2004, will lack the consciousness, intellect and capacity for thought of a brain, but will be equivalent in calculating speed and power. They have memories of at least two petabytes — equal to a billion books. Mike Nelson, IBM’s director of internet technology and strategy, said: “It is hard to quantify the power of a brain, but when you look at the raw processing power of these machines, you’re looking at figures in the same ballpark.”,,3-485578,00.html


    Just think, in 10 years your PowerBook will be able to do 360 teraflops. Just think of the gaming possiblities...

    Peter :(
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2002
    New York
    Re: IBM to build the "ultimate" supercomputer.

    MMMMMM... who cares what it costs... its worth it! For.. I donno.. whatever its gonna be used for! *drools*
  3. macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    you need to wake up. What these super computers are used for is simple.

    Thy model weather on it for a week and then play quake against all the other super computers in the world for the next ten years.

    You thought they actually did work on them?? HAHAHAHAHA:D
  4. Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    Very interesting, there is another (IMO) better article on this here courtesy of
    If only we could really tap the full power of our brains ;)
  5. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    That will be truly scary - but I think that biological computers might end up becoming the future - only thing is that right now no one really knows how to build one.

    And at the size that these machines are now, it will be many years before they even become managable as computers for everyday use (desktops of even small server size machines).


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