Perhaps the most poorly kept secret at SC11 was IBM’s official unveiling of its next generation Blue Gene/Q (BGQ) supercomputer, the third generation in its Blue Gene family, with 16 multi-processing core technology and a scalable peak performance of up to 100 petaflops.
IBM spent much time at the show highlighting why its BGQ was the most energy efficient and reliable system in the Blue Gene lineup thus far, having already hit the number one spot of the TOP500 green machine list due to its ability to produce 2 gigaflops per watt.
The system was designed to have a small footprint and low power requirements, and is based on IBM’s PowerPC A2 processing architecture.
Each of the BGQ’s 64-bit processors sports 16 compute cores, four times the number of cores used in the previous Blue Gene/P system, with each CPU able to handle four threads simultaneously.
Each processor sports 32 KB of L1 cache, divided equally between data and instruction, while the L2 consists of 32 MB of embedded DRAM.
A full BGQ rack would contain 1024 nodes, or 16K cores, IBM noted.
In addition to the Big Blue’s BGQ, the company was also showing off a broad range of other HPC technical computing offerings at its booth. These included the System x BladeCenter and the IBM iDataPlex, as well as the IBM Power7, storage offerings to address Big Data, system networking products and data warehouse Netezza offerings.