IBM claims Europe's fastest supercomputer

IBM said it has won an order from Finland for a high-end supercomputer that is 150 times faster than the Deep Blue system that three years ago defeated world chess champion Garry Kasparov.

IBM will install the RS/6000 SP system in October at the Finnish academic supercomputing center in Helsinki for use by Finland's Ministry of Education, the company said in a statement.

Billed by IBM as Europe's most powerful commercial supercomputer to date, the new RS/6000 SP will boast peak performance capable of executing more than 1 trillion calculations per second, according to IBM.

The powerful computer will be used for scientific research projects in subject areas ranging from materials physics to quantum chemistry, and the supercomputing center may also use it for advanced weather forecasting, IBM said.

The RS/6000 SP to be installed in Helsinki will be powered by copper-based, 64-bit Power3-II processors running at 375MHz. By 2002, the system will consist of several hundreds of processors, which will be upgraded with Power4 chips to achieve a level of performance in the teraflop (a trillion floating-point operations per second) range, IBM said.

When completed, the system is expected to be ranked among the world's 25 most powerful supercomputers, IBM said.

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