Supercomputer breaks speed record

The US is poised to push Japan off the top of the supercomputing chart with IBM's prototype Blue Gene/L machine.

It is being assembled for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, a US Department of Energy lab (DOE). DOE test results show that Blue Gene/L has managed speeds of 70.72 teraflops. The current top machine, Japan's NEC Earth Simulator, clocks up 35.86. Due next week, the Top 500 list officially charts the fastest computers in the world.

It is announced every six months and is worked out using an officially recognised mathematical speed test called Linpack which measures calculations per second. The speeds will most likely make it the fastest computer system on the planet, yet the chip technology powering the machine is the kind which can be found in familiar devices like games consoles.

News source: BBC News

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