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IBM Builds Supercomputer Based on Gaming Chip

IBM Corp. said on Friday that it has built a supercomputer the size of a television based on microchip technology to be used in gaming consoles due out next year.

IBM said the supercomputer, which can perform two trillion calculations per second, is a small-scale prototype of the Blue Gene/L supercomputer that it is building for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

The computer made it onto the Top 500 supercomputer list, which is compiled by a member of the University of Tennessee's computer science department.

IBM vice president of technology and strategy Irving Wladawsky-Berger said that the supercomputer used 1,000 microprocessors that are based on PowerPC microchip technology. The PowerPC chip is currently used in Apple Computer Inc. computers.

It is also the technology that will be the foundation of the next generation of gaming consoles from Nintendo Co. and Sony Corp. , which IBM is working on, he said.

He said the chips were less expensive and consumed less power than traditional microprocessors, making it possible to pack the same amount of computing power into a smaller space. Producing the chips in volume for gaming will help offset the costs of building supercomputers, he said.

News source: Reuters

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