Re: Blue Gene

Brian Atkins (
Mon, 06 Dec 1999 16:34:44 -0500

"Robert J. Bradbury" wrote:
> On Mon, 6 Dec 1999, John Clark wrote:
> > A great deal of effort will also go into making an operating
> > system that is more fault tolerant than anything now in existence, if one of the
> > processors or even an entire chip malfunctions the supercomputer will not die,
> > it will just slow down very slightly.
> As is true in the brain as well...
> My calculations for the PIM approach give us brains on a desk sometime
> between 2007 and 2015. Figuring 32 processors/chip, 1 million processors
> works out to 32K chips, figuring 16 chips per board works out to 2048 boards.
> It isn't going to fit on my desk but it will fit in a couple of racks.
> For a first generation it isn't bad.
> If they price this at $500/chip (processor costs), that works out to $16 Million
> (big pharma & government only), but if they drop the price down to $25/chip
> (current memory costs), that works out to $819K, still a little expensive
> but universities and even small companies could afford one. If the price
> falls by another order of magnitude ($80K; Korean or Taiwan fabs offer knock
> off designs perhaps), then we are talking a range where the transhumanist
> collective could buy one. If it comes down by two orders of magnitude ($8K)
> a lot of companies will be working very very hard to replace wet brains
> with dry brains.

I'd buy a brain for $819k