Supercomputer boosts General Motors' processing power

General Motors has upgraded its ability to design vehicles and carry out crash testing and component vibration analysis through...

General Motors has upgraded its ability to design vehicles and carry out crash testing and component vibration analysis through the installation of 23 pSeries 690 Unix-based servers from IBM.

Ten of the 32-processor servers have been installed in GM's Detroit headquarters and are configured as an IBM eSeries supercomputer. With processing power of 2.3 trillion floating-point operations per second, it is believed to be the most powerful supercomputer in use in the auto industry.

The other 13 servers were installed in GM facilities in Russelsheim in Germany, and Trollhattan in Sweden.

The new servers will supplement GM's existing computing systems and will increase the car manufacturer's computing abilities dramatically, said Peter Ungaro, IBM's vice-president of supercomputing.

IBM is using the supercomputer across its whole design process from analysing designs to learning from crash testing and metals stress tests, Ungaro said. The machines were installed and benchmarked during the past year and could lead to additional purchases, he said.

GM would not release the value of the deal. But the list price of each 32-processor p690s lists for approximately $2.1m (£1.4m)

IBM said the 23 servers would quadruple GM's existing computing power. Each unit is equipped with 32 Power 4 1.3-GHz processors and 64GB of memory.

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