New IBM Technology Faster Than Deep Blue

RS/6000 SP Capable of a Billion Moves Per Second

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SOMERS, N.Y - 22 Apr 1998: - Nearly one year after its historic victory over Grand Master Garry Kasparov, IBM today announced improvements to the RS/6000 SP that deliver five times the performance of Deep Blue.

The improvement is the result of IBM's new 332 MHz PowerPC 604e, the fastest microprocessor available to date on the RS/6000 SP, which if applied to the system that powered Deep Blue, would increase its calculating power from 200 million to one billion chess moves per second. Applications include e-business, business intelligence, server consolidation, computer aided design and scientific analysis

In addition to the introduction of the new PowerPC processor, IBM announced a series of new and enhanced hardware and software products, including an upgraded release of its AIX operating system that further enhances its e-business performance (see product details).

"IBM's customers around the world can now purchase the same leading-edge technology that powered Deep Blue and that will be the engine of the world's fastest supercomputer," said Mike Borman, General Manager, IBM RS/6000. "They will immediately benefit from the most significant price and price/performance improvements in the history of the RS/6000 SP."

IBM also announced plans to integrate the Enterprise Server S70 with the RS/6000 SP later this year. This externally attached S70 node will mark the introduction of 64 bit computing on the SP and will offer customers the ability to attach the S70 as a database node on the SP.

In February, the U. S. Department of Energy selected the IBM RS/6000 SP to perform complex computer modeling and simulation to protect the nation's nuclear stockpile. The system will become the world's fastest supercomputer upon completion in the year 2000.

"The ever increasing power of computer simulation has played a key role in the elimination of underground nuclear testing," said David Cooper, Associate Director of Computation, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. "IBM's efforts to push the boundaries of supercomputer technology will help us achieve the milestone of one trillion calculations per second later this year."

Product Details


Among the new or enhanced products announced today:



Pricing and Availability

The RS/6000 SP ranges in price from approximately $150,000 for a single-node system to several million dollars for large-scale systems of up to 512 nodes. The average system costs approximately $1 million.

Products available in April include: 332 MHz Thin and Wide Nodes, AIX 4.3.1, PSSP for AIX 2.4, and AIX Version 4.3 Bonus Pack.

GPFS for AIX is planned for availability in May. The Switch Router Model 16S, Operating Environment for CATIA and I-DEAS Master Series are planned for availability in June.