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$10m super'puter to crunch genetic code

7.5 trillion calcs per second from IBM

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Genetics research firm NuTec Sciences has ordered the largest supercomputer in the commercial world, to date, from IBM. The contract is worth $10 million.

IBM says that the new machine will be 600 times faster then Deep Blue, and will perform 7.5 trillion calculations per second.

The computer will consist of 1250 of IBM's pSeries 640 servers, which retail individually for $13,599.

Peter Morrissey, head of NuTec's life sciences division, commented: "Scientists are now asking questions they simply couldn't ask before. Genome mapping only opened the door to multitudes of further analysis."

The company will use the massive computational power of the new machine to discover the combinations of genes that can cause diseases, and which chemical cocktails could be used to fight them.

IBM will also be working with NuTec to develop software that will allow the secure exchange of research data online. It will also create a system that other scientists will be able to use to query NuTec for data.

Although massive, this new machine is still a baby relative to the huge ASCI White, which can perform 12.3 trillion calculations per second. ®

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