IBM to build $43 million supercomputer for SKA

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IBM will be working with ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, in order to build an exascale computer systems for the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope project.

The supercomputer portion of the project will reportedly cost an intial $43 million over a period of 5 years in order to create a computer that is capable of powering the SKA. The computer will have to “…read, analyze and store one exabyte of raw data per day.”

IBM Research’s Ton Engbersen said, “If you take the current global daily Internet traffic and multiply it by two**, you are in the range of the data set that the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope will be collecting every day.”

New technology will have to be designed to create the system, including “…advanced accelerators and 3D stacked chips for more energy-efficient computing. They will also research novel optical interconnect technologies and nanophotonics to optimize large data transfers, as well as high-performance storage systems based on next-generation tape systems and novel phase-change memory technologies.”

Source: ASTRON

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