IBM loses supercomputer crown

IBM has been thwarted at the finish line by NEC in the league of supercomputers. After last year's victory and a massive number of entries in the league last time the supercomputer giant has not only lost the top place but they've also had their number of entries reduced from 200 to 168 out of the 500 in the league.

The 'Earth-Simulator' machine from NEC, used in the Earth Simulator centre situated in Japan, is now officially the most powerful in the world. This supercomputer is used to simulate a 'virtual earth' and it allows scientists to glimpse at how the earth will appear in the future. The ASCI White, last years winner, came second while HP's AlphaServer came third.

The supercomputer league is a bi-annually compiled list so in November there will be another chance for IBM to reclaim its crown. The processing power of machines in the list is a key element in many different projects today and these include IBM's Blue Ocean supercomputers being used in research to find a vaccine for malaria. The highest-ranking machine used by academics, rather than researchers, was the HP AlphaServer, which is used in France at the Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique (CEA).

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View: The top 500 supercomputers in the world

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