Blue Gene is a computer architecture project to produce several supercomputers, designed to reach operating speeds in the PFLOPS (petaFLOPS) range, and currently reaching sustained speeds of nearly 500 TFLOPS (teraFLOPS). It is a cooperative project among IBM (particularly IBM Rochester and the Thomas J. Watson Research Center), the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the United States Department of Energy (which is partially funding the project), and academia. There are four Blue Gene projects in development: Blue Gene/L, Blue Gene/C, Blue Gene/P, and Blue Gene/Q.
About Blue gene Supercomputer
In November 2004, the IBM Blue Gene computer became the fastest supercomputer in the world. Unprecedented performance was achieved in a compact low-power design. The 22 papers contained in this issue present the hardware and software designs, as well as some early applications and performance measurements. All key hardware systems from the compute chip to the full supercomputer are covered. The software architecture and systems are described, and initial work with applications, particularly those for molecular dynamics, is presented.
The Blue Gene/L supercomputer is unique in the following aspects:
- Trading the speed of processors for lower power consumption.
- Dual processors per node with two working modes: co-processor (1 user process/node: computation and communication work is shared by two processors) and virtual node (2 user processes/node)
- System-on-a-chip design
- A large number of nodes (scalable in increments of 1024 up to at least 65,536)
- Three-dimensional torus interconnect with auxiliary networks for global communications, I/O, and management
- Lightweight OS per node for minimum system overhead (computational noise)