Friday, October 15, 2004

IBM now selling 2.2 GHz G5 blades

IBM has started selling its BladeCenter JS20 blade servers at up to 2.2 GHz, utilizing the G5 970 series CPUs. These 2.2 GHz blades are what are used in Spain's new 4564 processor JS20 supercomputer in Barcelona. Up until now, IBM only sold 1.6 GHz JS20 blade servers.

It is good to see that IBM now feels that constraints on G5 970FX supplies have eased enough that the release of 2.2 GHz CPUs to the general public in volume is feasible. Xserves with 2.3 GHz 970FX CPUs, which are currently found only in the VT supercomputer, will no doubt also be widely available in the next few months. Apple has said, however, that 2.5 GHz supplies (for Power Macs) will continue to be constrained for the remainder of this calendar year.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

VT again adds machines, and again boost score

Quick update: As of today, Virginia Tech is now at 1100 machines (2200 CPUs), with a score of 12050 Gflops/s (59.5% efficiency). With every benchmark update, not only has VT added machines, but they have also slightly increased efficiency.

Apple 2004 Q4 financials posted

Apple yesterday posted it's 2004 fourth quarter results.

They handily beat market expectations, with a profit of $106 million (26 cents per share) on $2.35 billion revenue, which is more than double the profits of the same quarter last year. They shipped 836000 Macs, which includes a huge increase in laptop sales. The iBook is up 74% over last year, and the PowerBook is up 21%. Overall unit sales showed only a 6% increase, due to constraints in G5 CPU supplies, which slowed Power Mac sales and left a 2 month gap where no iMacs were sold at all. Apple predicts that CPU supplies will improve in Q1 2005, but that the 2.5 GHz G5 will continue to be constrained. It seems clear we will not see a 3 GHz G5 any time soon.

The big news, however, is the iPod (and mini). Apple sold a whopping 2016000 iPods in a single quarter, up 500% from last year. That amount represents over a third of all iPods sold to date. Truly impressive. Apple also saw a correspondingly large increase in iTunes Music Store sales.

Apple forecasts revenue of close to $2.9 billion in the coming quarter, with earnings of approximately 40 cents per share. And it seems that Merrill-Lynch believes them. They have raised the target stock price of AAPL to US$49. Just last year, AAPL was under US$20.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Virginia Tech adds machines, boosts score

Quick update: As of today, Virginia Tech is now at 1080 machines (2160 CPUs), and solidly in fifth place with a score of 11770 (59% efficiency). (VT was previously at 10930, with 1024 machines.)