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US reclaims the crown with the world’s fastest supercomputer

Suck it, China and Japan… with IBM’s Sequoia supercomputer, we have once again regained the title of world’s fastest supercomputer. Merka.

In a ranking released Monday of the world’s top 500 supercomputers, the United States scored the top spot with Sequoia, a supercomputer housed at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. The U.S. had been trailing China and Japan in the supercomputer race since June 2010, when a Chinese system took over the No. 1 spot.

Sequoia boasts 1.57 million cores and a capability of 16.32 petaflops, meaning it can process 16.32 quadrillion calculations per second. The No. 2 system, Japan’s K computer, can handle a sustained 10.51 petaflops per second.

Sequoia was built by IBM (IBM, Fortune 500) for the National Nuclear Security Administration, which uses it to model weapons performance and to “extend the life of aging weapons systems,” according to Bob Meisner, NNSA’s advanced simulation and computing director.

The newly minted supercomputing champion was years in the making. Work on designing the machine began more than three years ago, said Dave Turek, IBM’s vice president of high-performance computing systems. NNSA’s scientists began using Sequoia about a month and a half ago.


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