IBM and GENCI team up to work on next-Gen Exascale Computing

IBM and GENCI collaborate to work on Next-Gen Exascale Computing

The Joint venture aims at developing scientific applications that would succeed in taking the supercomputing to a billion calculations per second which is also termed as “Exascale computing”.

International Business Machines Corporation, commonly known as IBM, is a well known American multinational corporation which has teamed up with a French high-performance computing agency known as GENCI, to work on next-Gen “Exascale Computing”.

GENCI was established by the government of France in the year 2007. The main aim behind this establishment was to ensure proper coordination of the major equipment of the high performing computing centers of France by providing them the essential funds. Besides France also wanted to be among the leading international countries who were into the development of next-Gen computing technologies.

What is Exascale computing: 

Computer scientists explain that if a computing system is capable of performing at least a billion calculations per second then we consider this to be Exascale computing; in terms of computing technology this is equivalent to one exaflop. Also one exaflop is equal to a thousand petaflops or a quintillion which is represented as  1018 floating point operations per second.

According to Computerworld, at a supercomputing conference that was held in 2009, it was decided that exascale computing would be implemented by 2018.

Thus, it seems IBM and GENCI have joined their hands to develop the advanced applications that would enable to fully exploit the capabilities of Exascale computing which is definitely not an easy task.

The partnership is expected to continue for at least one and a half years wherein both the organizations will put their best efforts and forces to work on taking the technology from supercomputing to  exascale computing.

According to sources at IBM, it is looking forward to this collaboration as its major goal is to achieve exascale computing technology by developing advanced scientific applications which will make it possible for the new computing systems to achieve a performance which would be more than 100 petaflops.

In this joint venture, IBM’s supercomputing experts would be working closely with the high performance computing technologies of GENCI which is provided by the OpenPOWER eco system.

OpenPOWER ecosystem is a rapidly expanding collaboration which comprises of more than 140 foundation members and it has the support of over thousand developers across the globe.

Various different computing solutions derived by using IBM’s open POWER processor technology has been included in this ecosystem.

According to IBM, currently the world’s fastest supercomputers are able to perform between 10 and 33 petaflops; this means it can perform somewhere between 10 -30 million billion calculations per second. On the contrary, this speed is just 1 to 3 percent of the speed of the supercomputing exascale techology which is in the process of being developed.

GENCI on the other hand, needs to first study the OpenPOWER architecture’s impact on the scientific applications and at the same time get to know the requirements of the new technology so that it can get a better understanding of the advanced computing industry and thus succeed in achieving its goal of exascale computing.

As per the sources at GENCI, the ‘accelerator technologies’ would be given more preference during this project.

Michel Teyssedre, CTO of IBM France explained in a statement “The work we are doing with GENCI — bringing together some of the best minds in science and information technology – is a collaborative effort on a grand scale involving not just GENCI and IBM, but thousands of developers contributing to the rapidly expanding OpenPOWER ecosystem worldwide. We fully expect our collaborative efforts will produce innovations capable of moving the supercomputing industry that much closer to exascale.”

It seems IBM has also entered into a five year contract with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) by signing AU $450m agreement, wherein the main goal would be to work on improving the regional expansion of the bank and IBM will support the expansion of the bank’s branch improving its digital and mobile capabilities.

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