this afternoon I got an up close and personal look into the hardware for the new Blue Waters supercomputer that will soon be coming to the University of Illinois. Not only was I impressed by the sheer amount of processing power each of the boards has, but also their sheer size. Picture a typical 1U rackmount server, keep the height, double the width, and triple the depth, then you have one of the boards going into blue waters. I was able to spend some time with some of the people in the IBM labs that are working on bringing up these boxes so that they will be ready to ship down to school soon, and was able to learn a lot about the power distribution characteristics, system topology, and how the massive things are cooled. I’m looking forward in the future to seeing blue waters come online at school and hopefully sometime get a chance to mess around with it a bit.