IBM building fastest-ever computer for US

It's so fast, the following article contains the word petaflops

IBM has announced that it has been commissioned by the US government to build the fastest computer in the world.

The computer will help look after America's nuclear arsenal and will be able to perform 20,000 trillion calculations a second – or 20 petaflops. Hopefully all these calculations will eventually come to the conclusion that President Obama should not push the big, red button.

The computer will use IBM's new Sequoia technology, and should be ready for the US' Department of Energy (DOA) to use in 2011.

Faster than The Roadrunner

To cope with the immense amount of information the system will have to process, the computer will be housed in a 3,422 sq ft building, and will use as much energy a year as five average households.

The computer will contain around 1.6 million microprocessors and will have to be constantly refrigerated.

IBM is no stranger to creating supercomputers. The company built the current fastest computer – The Roadrunner – which currently resides at the DOE's Los Alamos Laboratory in New Mexico.

As well as helping maintain America's ageing nuclear arsenal, the computer will also help with researching the human genome, climate change and astronomy.

Being that it's the fastest computer in the world, we're sure IBM's machine will be more than up for a bit of multi-tasking.


Content Team Lead

Marc (Twitter, Google+) is the content team lead for Future Technology, where he is in charge of a 14-strong team of journalists who write many of the wonderful stories that end up on TechRadar, and T3 magazine. Prior to this he was deputy editor of TechRadar, had a 10-month stint editing a weekly iPad magazine, written film reviews for a whole host of publications and has been an integral part of many magazines that are no longer with us.