IBM says it will invest $US100 million in Blue Gene, a supercomputer that will have 500 times the computing power of today's machines.
Blue Gene will be able to conduct more than one quadrillion operations per second -- or one petaflop, according to IBM's research laboratories. That performance level will be reached in about five years, IBM said in a statement.
What will make that possible will be what IBM is calling a "radical new approach" to computer design and architecture. It is calling this architecture SMASH (for Simple, Many and Self-Healing).
The technology will, for example, simplify the number of instructions carried out by each processor. That will enable the processor to work faster and with lower power and chip surface requirements, IBM said. The supercomputer will also be able to repair itself, fixing failures of individual processors and computing threads, IBM said.
Blue Gene will consist of more than one million processors, each capable of one billion floating point operations per second, or one gigaflop.
The first project IBM intends to tackle with such a computer will be modeling how human proteins are folded, IBM said.
IBM, based in Armonk, New York, can be reached at +1-914-765-1900 or at http://www.ibm.com/.