Super Super-computer [Archives:2000/17/Science & Technology]

April 24 2000

Everyone has surely heard of the gigantic and most powerful computer on earth “Deep Blue” (sold to the US government by the giant PC company IBM) especially after it defeated the world chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997. Now, IBM, claims that it aims at manufacturing a super computer code-named “Blue gene” that would be 1000 times as powerful as its predecessor “Deep Blue”. Just to give you a clear picture, the computer would be 2 million times more powerful than the most formidable PC on earth.
The computer will be able to perform 1 quadrillion (a cardinal number; 1 followed by 15 zeros) operations per second, whereas its former “Deep Blue” can perform 2 trillion (a cardinal number; 1 followed by 12 zeros) operations per second. Another exciting characteristic of this computer would be its ability to stabilize and correct itself in case of a system failure.
IBM claims that the 100- million-dollar project would, presumably, be ready within 5 years. Once completed, the powerful machine would be assigned to model the folding of human protein. As we all know, human body’s cellular processes are monitored by proteins and the company hopes that revealing more of the protein fold’s secrets would help doctors invent new drugs for human beings.