It was but two years ago that we all sat in awe of IBM's beautiful 280.6-teraflop masterpiece, and it's finally safe to call that workhorse a thing of the past. Today, Big Blue announced the second-generation of its famed supercomputer (dubbed Blue Gene/P), which reportedly comes close to "tripling the performance of its predecessor." In an attempt to showcase its might, IBM suggested that 27 million clinical trials could be computed "in just one afternoon using a sliver of its full power." Additionally, the engineers went the extra mile by crafting a highly scalable system that comes in "at least seven times more energy efficient than any other supercomputer," but we're sure those 294,912 processors (each touting four PowerPC 450 CPUs) can churn through some energy when utilizing the whole petaflop. And just think, Sun probably thought the 500 or so teraflop production from its forthcoming Ranger would be the (momentary) top dog.
Read - IBM's Blue Gene/P, via CNET
Read - Sun's Ranger, via Wired