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CNET News: IBM Supercomputing Goes Retro

“Even as IBM directs attention to the arrival of its Blue Gene/L
supercomputer, the company is quietly preparing a new twist on an
older technology that will let it more directly compete with rivals
such as Cray and NEC.

“For decades, high-performance computing customers have used
machines with ‘vector’ processors, which excel at certain
mathematical operations and can quickly retrieve large amounts of
data from memory. But the vast majority of business computers–and
indeed most supercomputers today–use a ‘scalar’ design better
adapted to general-purpose computing…”


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