IBM today powered up what it claims is the world's most powerful privately-owned supercomputer, the Watson Blue Gene system, nicknamed BGW, installed at the IBM Thomas J Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY.
With a processing speed of 91.29 teraflops, the system is expected to join its sister machine, the Blue Gene/L supercomputer installed at Lawrence Livermore National Labs (currently the world's fastest), as one of the top three supercomputers.
BGW comprises 20 fridge-sized racks but is still less than half the size of conventional systems that boast comparable computing power, according to Big Blue.
IBM plans to use the system to explore a range of fields from business applications to life sciences, hydrodynamics, materials sciences, quantum chemistry, molecular dynamics and fluid dynamics.
"IBM researchers will use BGW to accelerate discovery in a variety of disciplines," said Tilak Agerwala, vice president for systems at IBM Research.
"Researchers, scientists, engineers and inventors can now ask more questions, test more theories, try more designs, and simulate more conditions than was ever possible before."
One of the first applications to be deployed will be Blue Matter, the software framework developed as part of the science effort within the Blue Gene project at IBM Research, which is used to run protein dynamics simulations for drug development.
IBM said it also intends to provide access to BGW computing resources to academic and industrial researchers undertaking computationally intensive, large-scale research projects.
The machine will also be used by IBM's Center for Business Optimization, a newly launched consulting and software unit, which will develop and run advanced mathematical algorithms for a variety of client problems.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago