...and I suspect it will be a hugely disruptive force in the Ruby/Rails community in the future.
Holy shit! - Antonio Cangiano (after seeing the benchmarks run)
Avi Bryant seems to be leading the project and it's only 100 days old (and how did it stay secret so long?!?) However, since it's based on the mature Fast VM used by Gemstone/S, they're already blowing away Ruby MRI 1.8 benchmarks with 8-60x speed increases. Mention was made of cooperating closely with Rubinius team to make sure that their implementation runs all the Ruby specs, and is truly Ruby and not a fork.
When MagLev is widely available, it basically means that there will be a truly enterprise-class option for writing trading systems, logistics and other large persistent object-heavy systems in Ruby. The shared memory cache (basically a large OODB) holds up to 17PB and has transactional capabilities and automatic synchronization. According to Avi, there is a strong commitment to making sure there are good ways to use Rails on MagLev -- ActiveRecord, which no longer would be truly needed, could still be used (with the exception of find_by_sql, of course).
I'm dying to play with this stuff. Ditching relational databases is a no-brainer for most of the projects that I've worked on in the last 5 years.