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IBM Journal of Research and Development  
Volume 49, Number 2/3, Page 195 (2005)
Blue Gene
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Overview of the Blue Gene/L system architecture

by A. Gara, M. A. Blumrich, D. Chen, G. L.-T. Chiu, P. Coteus, M. E. Giampapa, R. A. Haring, P. Heidelberger, D. Hoenicke, G. V. Kopcsay, T. A. Liebsch, M. Ohmacht, B. D. Steinmacher-Burow, T. Takken, P. Vranas
The Blue Gene®/L computer is a massively parallel supercomputer based on IBM system-on-a-chip technology. It is designed to scale to 65,536 dual-processor nodes, with a peak performance of 360 teraflops. This paper describes the project objectives and provides an overview of the system architecture that resulted. We discuss our application-based approach and rationale for a low-power, highly integrated design. The key architectural features of Blue Gene/L are introduced in this paper: the link chip component and five Blue Gene/L networks, the PowerPC® 440 core and floating-point enhancements, the on-chip and off-chip distributed memory system, the node- and system-level design for high reliability, and the comprehensive approach to fault isolation.
Related Subjects: Computer architecture; Parallel processing; Supercomputing