IBM Unveils Blade Server For High-Performance Computing - InformationWeek

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IBM Unveils Blade Server For High-Performance Computing

IBM's BladeCenter QS22 is powered by PowerXCell 8i processors and aimed at the financial services, digital media creation, and medical imaging markets.

IBM on Tuesday introduced a blade server for high-performance computers aimed at financial services, digital media creation, and medical imaging.

The BladeCenter QS22 is powered by PowerXCell 8i processors. The chips are the latest built on the Cell microprocessor architecture, jointly developed by IBM, Sony, and Toshiba to power demanding gaming applications. The processors in the QS22 are five times the speed of the original Cell processor and have 16 times more memory, IBM said.

The new blade runs Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the primary operating system and includes the open source development environment Eclipse. IBM has released an upgrade of its software development kit for Multicore Acceleration v3, which includes templates to help customers utilize the features of the QS22.

The latest BladeCenter is built to complement members of the product line powered by Intel's Xeon and Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron server processors. This allows customers to use the QS22 alongside the more conventional systems, IBM said.

"IBM has delivered on the promise of integrating HPC into the business world in a way that allows developers, clients, and IT departments to ramp up quickly and get results without delay," Jim Comfort, VP of IBM's Systems and Technology Group, said in a statement.

Each QS22 blade is powered by two 3.2-GHz PowerXCell 8i processors and up to 32 GB of processor memory. A 42U rack with 56 QS22 blades installed can deliver up to 25.8 teraflops. For networking, the blades support dual Gigabit Ethernet.

IBM expects to ship the QS22 in early June.

IBM's announcement followed by about two weeks Intel's partnership with supercomputer maker Cray to build high-performance computers capable of processing petaflops of machine instructions per second. Intel supplies chips to many supercomputer makers, but the Cray deal ensures that Intel will be in more of the world's most powerful computers, Reuters news agency reported.

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