by Rick Merritt
IBM has become the first company to ship a commercial microprocessor using transactional memory, a new feature for multicore chips researchers have studied for years.
The BlueGene/Q processor used in the Sequoia supercomputer IBM is building for Lawrence Livermore National Labs will employ the new feature, IBM disclosed in a paper at the Hot Chips event here. Sequoia is expected to deliver 20 petaflops when it is complete in 2012.
When finished, the super could become one of the most powerful systems in the world. An early version of the system is already ranked as one of the most energy efficient supercomputers.