IBM and Astron, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, have collaborated to research on exascale computer systems that will help explore the origins of the universe.

The low-power exascale computer systems are targeted for the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA), an international project by Astron to build the world's largest and most sensitive radio telescope.

The supercomputer will collect data from the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), which requires processors that are a million times faster than today's fastest computers.

The supercomputer will reportedly be faster than the current world's fastest supercomputer, the K, that has 700,000 processor cores and a peak performance of 10 petaflops (thousand trillion floating point operations per second) - an exascale computer would be 100 times faster than that, according to extremetech website.

The initial 32.9 million euro project named Dome is a five-year collaboration with Astron and upon completion of building the telescope by 2024, it will be used to explore evolving galaxies, dark matter and even the very origins of the universe - dating back more than 13 billion years.

Ton Engbersen, IBM Research - Zurich explained: "If you take the current global daily Internet traffic and multiply it by two**, you are in the range of the data set that the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope will be collecting every day."

"This is Big Data Analytics to the extreme. With Dome we will embark on one of the most data intensive science projects ever planned, which will eventually have much broader applications beyond radio astronomy research," he added.

Scientists at Astron and IBM will also investigate the advanced accelerators and 3D stacked chips for more energy-efficient computing. They will also research on technologies to optimize large data transfers, as well as high-performance storage systems.

"Large research infrastructures like the SKA require extremely powerful computer systems to process all the data. The only acceptable way to build and operate these systems is to dramatically reduce their power consumption," said Marco de Vos, Managing Director of Astron.

"Dome gives us unique opportunities to try out new approaches in Green Supercomputing. This will be beneficial for society at large as well," he added.

Scientists from both IBM and Astron will work at the newly established Astron & IBM Center for Exascale Technology in Drenthe, the Netherlands. The construction of the super telescope is expected to begin in 2017.