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The first pieces of the long-planned Blue Waters supercomputer are expected to be installed this weekend at the University of Illinois.

Trish Barker is a spokeswoman for the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. She said hardware that amounts to about 10% of the $300 million computer is scheduled to be installed starting Saturday.

Seattle-based Cray Inc. took over construction of Blue Waters last November after IBM pulled out over cost and technical concerns.

Barker said the parts of the computer should be ready for use in six weeks. Cray and the university expect the computer to be complete by fall.

Blue Waters is planned to operate at sustained speeds of a petaflop. That's a thousand trillion operations a second, a long-sought standard that makes massive projects possible.

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