The Seven Stones

What would you do with a petaflop?

The Blue Brain Project of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) currently uses an IBM Blue Gene/L supercomputer, reaching peaks of 22.4 teraflops (flops=Floating Point Operations Per Second), to simulate a model of a mammalian neocortical column composed of 10’000 neurons (Markram, 2006). IBM recently announced the release of the new Blue Gene/P, which, in its largest configuration, would be more than 100 times more powerful than the EPFL Blue Gene/L, reaching peaks of 3000 teraflops (3 petaflops, 3×1015 flops, 100’000 times more powerful than a home PC). 

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