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Climate research center buys a Blue Gene

National Center for Atmospheric Research becomes the newest customer of IBM's Blue Gene/L supercomputer.

The (NCAR) has become the newest customer of IBM's Blue Gene/L supercomputer, the computer maker plans to announce Thursday. The center will use the system for investigating global climate change, weather forecasts, toxic pollution flows and conditions in space.

In collaboration with the University of Colorado, NCAR is purchasing a single Blue Gene/L rack, a model with 1,024 dual-core processors that can perform 5.7 trillion calculations per second and that IBM has said costs about $2 million. The fastest supercomputer today--at least by one imperfect measurement--is a 32-rack Blue Gene model at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory that's being upgraded to a 64 racks.