A Talk with the Brain behind Blue Gene

November 9, 2001 | Source: Business Week

On Nov. 9, IBM will disclose a partnership with Lawrence Livermore National Labs to work on a wide range of scientific applications for Blue Gene. This will be the world’s fastest supercomputer, being designed to operate a hundred times faster than today’s speediest machines. The objective: to simulate how proteins fold themselves into their unique patterns.
With Blue Gene, IBM is trying to set a new supercomputer speed limit — a petaflop, or a thousand trillion floating calculations per second. The person managing the Blue Gene project is William R. Pulleyblank.

IBM’s supercomputing research will also lead to “supercomputing for the masses” for individual scientists or researchers, more effective design of pharmaceuticals, and “grid computing,” a collection of computer nodes pulled together to attack a big problem or using distributed data on the Internet, he says.