For the cost of the building, they could have a SUN Black Box and get the computers for free!
It is rather ironic - I am not sure how IBM convinced them to buy a building for their supercomputer with some unbenchmarked possible proprietary 8 core processors with a proprietary OS.
The last Power processor with a single socket got 53.2 SPEC CINT2006 Rate
If they would get a SUN Black Box...
1 Black Box = 8 racks * 80 sockets = 640 Sockets
Need more capacity? Well, add another box and stack it.
Add a bunch of Open Source 8 core processors with a bunch of Open Source OS's (download OpenSolaris or Linux) and get the same performance.
A SUN CoolThreads T2+ will give the university 85.5 SPEC CINT2006 Rate per socket. With 2 sockets per 1U, the university could get 160 SPEC CINT2006 Rate per U of rack space. I wonder if IBM will be able to keep up.
The university would get the same computing power rolled to them and usable today if they went with SUN.
What an awful idea to wait for something to be cooked up by IBM somewhere in 2010 that they could have had since April of 2008 from SUN at a lower cost.
Someone needs a better education!