BMW, one of the world's top auto makers, has decided that it needs an equivalent amount of horsepower for its supercomputers in its Switzerland development center, and thus struck a deal with Intel to purchase the Albert 2, a new supercomputer that works at 12.8 teraflops per second to help crunch numbers for the next generation of BMW engines and cars. That's not the fastest in the world, but it recently ranked 60th on the Top 500 supercomputer list -- a pretty respectable showing. But BMW and Intel are thinking bigger than just one supercomputer, as Intel will also get a huge sponsorship for BMW's Formula 1 cars (pictured), and in exchange the chipmaker will switch up every computer under BMW's roof to Intel-powered machines. Regardless of how fast the Albert 2 is, BMW is going to need to switch into fifth gear if it's really going to present the first Albert 2-designed F1 car, as planned, by January 16.

P.S. -Some of us at Engadget do actually love iDrive. We're just playing around, BMW.

[Thanks Terry B, via Heise]

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BMW getting supercomputer; iDrive still sucks, though