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China Supercomputer Is Probably World's Fastest . . . But Not for Long


the Blue Waters Supercomputing room

The Blue Waters Supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications will be capable of at least 1 petaflop of sustained performance.

Credit: NCSA

In late October, China unveiled the world's "fastest" supercomputer, the Tianhe 1A. It runs on more than 7,000 American made Nvidia graphics chips and over 14,000 traditional CPUs. It can make well over 1,000 trillion calculations per second and can get up to 4.7 petaflops at peak performance.

But around the world there are several systems currently being planned or under construction that will surpass the Tianhe 1A in power and speed. In the U.S., the University of Illinois' National Center for Supercomputing Applications is developing a system called Blue Waters, which will be capable of at least 1 petaflop of sustained performance, and up to 10 petaflops at peak performance.

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is also working with IBM to create a 20 petaflop supercomputer called "Sequoia" that will gear up in 2011 and be running quadrillions of scientific computations per second in 2012.

From PC World
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