Say hello to the Blue Gene/Q, or if you're looking for something a bit less intimidating, "Mira." That's IBM's latest and greatest concoction, a ten-petaflop supercomputer capable of running programs at ten quadrillion calculations a second. Hard to say who'd win between Mira and Watson, of course, but there's absolutely no question who'd come out on top if Mira were pitted against her predecessor Intrepid (hint: Mira's 20x faster). To put this all in perspective, IBM's chiming in with this:
"If every man, woman and child in the United States performed one calculation each second, it would take them almost a year to do as many calculations as Mira will do in one second."
Mira's next stop is at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, where it'll be used to tackle 16 projects in particular that were drawn from a pool of proposals to gain access to her capabilities. We're told that these include a range of initiatives -- from reducing energy inefficiencies in transportation and developing advanced engine designs to spurring advances in energy technologies -- and in time, it could lead to exascale-class computers "that will be faster than petascale-class computers by a factor of a thousand." And here we are getting excited about a 5GHz Core i7. Source http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/13/ibms-watson-supercomputer-destroys-all-humans-in-jeopardy-pract/