Computational sciences

Supercomputing at work

Supercomputing had its first moment of fame when Deep Blue defeated chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997. Today, supercomputers can do far more than checkmating grandmasters. Leading-edge systems, such as Blue Gene, are advancing into the regime of petaflop performance, i.e. 1 million billion calculations in a single second, or 500,000 times greater than that attainable with a desktop computer. This tremendous computational capability is starting to enable large-scale simulations of real-world systems in all areas of science. Supercomputers are helping scientists discover the origins of the universe, understand climate change, anticipate virus mutations to prevent future pandemics, and decipher the complex operation of the human brain.

IBM researchers have always been at the forefront of both supercomputing technology and deep-computing applications. IBM scientists at IBM Research - Zurich have pioneered various atomistic simulations in biology, chemistry and materials science. They have developed advanced computer-based models that scale optimally on massively parallel architectures, and applied those models to understand the complex behavior of materials used in IBM’s own computer chips. They are exploring modeling techniques in other fields as well, ranging from the design of novel therapeutics to advanced fluid dynamics for the optimization of aircraft design.

By means of numerous partner and client engagements, IBM Research - Zurich researchers are extending the role of supercomputing beyond its traditional realm of academic research into fields of commercial applications. Supercomputing is poised to change the world of business in profound ways.