Close on the heels of IBM's new Roadrunner supercomputer is IBM's Akka, a supercomputer the company said is one the fastest in the world, performing roughly 266 million calculations per second per watt or 266 megaflops per watt. IBM Monday is installing Akka at The High Performance Computing Center North, a consortium of universities and research institutes in northern Sweden, where it will be used for basic as well as applied research.
The supercomputer is organized in 12 racks and 48 BladeCenters with 14 blades in each BladeCenter. The new high-performance computing cluster comprises a total of 672 nodes, each equipped with two low-power Intel Xeon quad-core L5420 CPUs and 16 GB of RAM for a total of 5,376 cores and 10.7 TB of RAM. The interconnects are Cisco Infiniband (288 ports, SDR) and Gigabit Ethernet. Attached to the system is 100 TB of fast disk storage. Akka has a theoretical peak performance of 53.8 Teraflops and is reaching 46.04 Teraflops with the HP LINPACK benchmark (85.6 percent efficiency).
The Akka requires less electricity to run than other supercomputers, based on clusters of processors for PC-type, according to IBM. The company expects that the supercomputer will break records in energy efficiency and performance and rank as the most energy-efficient Windows cluster on the current Green500 list.
"This new system takes the supercomputer to new users and new areas," said Professor Bo Kgstrm of Umea University and director of the High Performance Computing Center North, in a statement. "It should be very exciting to see how the new research and new results can be achieved by combining and exploiting the various operating systems and hardware."