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IBM Pulls out of NCSA Blue Waters Supercomputer

by on August 8, 2011

In a moment reminiscent of the SGI/PSC debacle, IBM has just announced that they are pulling out of the NCSA & University of Illinois “Blue Waters” project, begun back in 2007 to create a sustained-Petascale computer.

The University of Illinois and NCSA selected IBM in 2007 as the supercomputer vendor for the Blue Waters project based on projections of future technology development. The innovative technology that IBM ultimately developed was more complex and required significantly increased financial and technical support by IBM beyond its original expectations. NCSA and IBM worked closely on various proposals to retain IBMs participation in the project but could not come to a mutually agreed-on plan concerning the path forward.IBM will return money received to date and NCSA will return equipment delivered by IBM per terms of the contract.

Petascale computers aren’t quite the “big deal” anymore, as there are already a handful of them on the Top500.  I assume the disagreement was on how to proceed forward to an Exascale computer.

via Blue Waters computing system.