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Announcement of Blue Gene/Q at JSC

JUQUEEN is an IBM Blue Gene/Q system which will be installed and start operation at JSC in 2012. The first four racks will be installed in April 2012 followed by four further racks in May and a larger extension in October 2012.

Each rack contains 32 node boards with 32 compute nodes each. A node consists of a processor comprising 16 1.6 GHz 64 bit IBM PowerPC A2 cores for the execution of user applications, one additional core is used for the operating system. Every core can execute four processes/threads (fourfold Simultaneous MultiThreading, SMT) and has a quad floating point unit (FPU) which can execute four double-precision Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD) Fused Multipy-Add operation (FMA) or two complex SIMD FMA per cycle. The maximal performance of the processor (node) is 204.8 GFlop/s.

In order to use this architecture efficiently a hybrid parallelization strategy is necessary in general (e.g. MPI/OpenMP or MPI/Pthreads), especially since the main memory is limited to 16 GB per node (or 256 MB per process/thread with 4 processes/threads per core).