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IBM Computer FLOPS Big Time

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16 comments to IBM Computer FLOPS Big Time

  • sago

    Interestingly, the peta-scale computer is also roughly the size needed to simulate the number of neurons in the human brain as an artificial neural network in roughly real time (1PFLOP/s is about 0.25% real time – so within 1 order of magnitude).

    It means that we have built the first brain scale computer.

    Obviously is isn’t going to be used for AI research, but it gives you a sense of how far we’ve come in computing machinery.

  • spurge

    That is very cool. I have a soft spot for Big Blue.

    I grew up in Poughkeepsie and even worked as a temp building main frames there.

    Many people in my family have and still do work there.

    I will have to see if my relative who works in chip design worked on the ones for the new super computer.

    Maybe I can get you a tour?

  • larry coon

    Good news….Roadrunner just scored a 5.5 on the CPU performance meter in Windows Vista.

  • John Powell

    The Singularity draws nearer…

    I for one welcome our post-human overlords.

  • I’ll put in a good word for you John 1.0

  • Belgarath


    I believe that’s supposed to be:

    Great Hyperlobic Omni-Cognate Neutron Wrangler.

    Deep Thought’s thoughts on this machine:

    The Great Hyperlobic Omnicognate Neutron-Wrangler can talk all four legs off an Arcturan Mega-Donkey but only I can persuade it to go for a walk afterwards. Molest me not, with this, pocket calculator stuff!

  • Traveler

    I don’t think that 10^51 absolute limit applies in this situation. Remember that we are talking about computers with lots of processors in them. No one piece of the computer gets close to the published FLOP rate by itself.

    As for getting 2 week weather forecasts that are as accurate as today’s 2 day forecasts — I’d settle for getting an accurate 2 day forecast.

  • spurge

    I seem to have a comment stuck in moderation.

    I was wondering why?

  • petrucio


    10^51 is the limit of computation you can get out of 1Kg of matter (IIRC), it does not matter what architecture you are using.

    My computer has 2 processors, but it is still one computer. That distinction does not apply. Multiprocessors is just a change in architecture paradigm, just like using pipelines was, and no one complained about that.

  • petrucio

    Hummmm, Kurzweil predicted petaflops in 2007, missed by little. But that was a recent prediction, so not fair. Computational power needed to simulate a human brain is predicted in the next 10 years, and then 10 more years for all that muscle to be available for under $1000 (I think).

    So it looks like about 20 years before your computers outsmarts you. Neat stuff.

    So it looks like the rhythm really IS going to get you! I mean – the Singularity really IS near!

  • Martinus

    “Maybe by the time that computer arrives, someone will remember this post and call it The Great Hyperlobic Omni-Cognate Electron Wrangler.”

    Or they could go with Douglas Adams and call it The Great Hyperlobic Omni-Cognate Neutron Wrangler.

    I’ve been a fan of the HHGTTG since the first radio broadcast, and I knew something seemed wrong when I first read that line…

  • So I went and looked up Grahams Number. Go read the Wikipedia first paragraph entry then tell me it wasn’t written by Douglas Adams.

  • I bet technicians still play Solitaire on it in their coffee break.

  • Code run on the machine mimics brain mechanisms underlying human sight.


  • DLC

    Great Hyperlobic Omni-Cognate Electron Wrangler ??
    GHOCEW ? don’t get it. But then, you knew that DLC stands for Digital Logic Circuits, right ?

    The Reptillian Overlords will be wiped out by the Digital Overlords.

    You shall be assimilated. resistance is Ohms.
    Or futile, or something.

  • Thanks for the comments everyone. I was beginning to think only my mom was reading this.

    Regarding the fanciful name that I borrowed from Douglas Adams. I loved it when I first came across it years ago but “Neutron Wrangler” wasn’t right for this post because if Roadrunner wrangles anything it must be electrons. That’s why I made that change.

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