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IBM building fastest-ever computer for US

IBM making world's fastest computer. Again
IBM making world's fastest computer. Again

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.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.