IBM lands contract to research exascale computing for astronomy

Apr 2, 2012
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IBM lands contract to research exascale computing for astronomy

IBM has announced that it has landed a massive contract to develop a new supercomputer and related technology to help decipher the huge amount of data collected by the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON). The contract is worth $42 million and will have IBM working with ASTRON to research exascale computer systems.

These superfast computer systems are needed for the radio telescope known as the Square Kilometer Array. The SKA project is expected to be completed in 2024 and is one of the biggest scientific and computing efforts ever. IBM will be using the funds to investigate high performance computer tech to be used to read, store, and analyze an exabyte of data collected each day.

An exabyte is one quintillion bytes, a quintillion is a 1 with 18 zeros at the end. To put that in a bit more perspective for you, Venture Beat reports that an exabyte is twice the amount of data produced every day on the World Wide Web today. The entire project is expected to cost about $2 billion.

[via Venture Beat]


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