Enterprise Linux Log

Feb 7 2011   4:36PM GMT

IBM’s Jeopardy!-playing supercomputer runs on SUSE Linux

Ryan Arsenault Ryan Arsenault Profile: Ryan Arsenault

IBM’s Watson supercomputer is gearing up for a big Jeopardy! match next week, and the system will be dueling it out with the aid of a SUSE Linux backbone.

IBM’s DeepQA software powers the technology that allows contestants to participate in Jeopardy!, and runs on SUSE Enterprise Linux Server 11 and 10 racks of IBM Power 750 servers. According to Novell, SUSE Linux is the fastest operating system available for Power7 based on SPEC benchmarks, and would be ideal in handling the high-capacity computing demands put upon Watson, its software and its servers during competition. Watson has 200 million-plus digital pages of information, and with SUSE, operates at a speed of over 80 teraflops to interpret questions and give answers.

You can see Watson in action against human competition — former Jeopardy! champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter — beginning next Monday, Feb. 14 through Feb. 16. You can also check out the full release of Novell’s announcement.

In addition to Watson in action on Jeopardy!, The Linux Foundation announced details for its 2011 End User Summit which will feature the project lead for the IBM supercomputer. The Linux Foundation End User Summit will take place March 1-2, and David Ferucci, Principal Investigator of the IBM Watson supercomputer, is one of the featured keynote speakers at the conference.


For more on how Watson works, read this story from National Public Radio (NPR).

UPDATE: MIT crowd gathers to watch Watson. See how the supercomputer fared the first night in competition.



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