Today IBM unveiled plans to construct its most powerful supercomputer to date, surpassing ASCI White –- formerly the world's fastest computer -- by nearly doubling the performance achieved by its predecessor. Once built, the computer will be known by the moniker "Blue Storm," and will have the capacity to execute in excess of 20 trillion calculations per second. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) commissioned IBM to build Blue Storm to improve weather forecasting throughout the continent.
According to IBM's projections, Blue Storm will be roughly 1,700 times faster than the company's famed "Deep Blue" which defeated chess champion Garry Kasparov in a highly publicized 1997 matchup. IBM achieves this level of performance by clustering together multiple eServer p690 (formerly coded named Regatta) enterprise UNIX servers.
Upon completion, Blue Storm will weigh in at 130 tons with storage capacity for 1.5 petabytes of data. Blue Storm will be constructed in two phases. The initial stage begins in early 2002 when IBM will deliver 50 refrigerator sized racks containing over 1000 processors. In 2004, the project will reach its climax when a series of next generation p960's will deliver approximately four times the performance available in 2002.
News source: BetaNews