An IBM supercomputer has overtaken All Japan news’s “K Computer”, made by Fujitsu, and became the world’s fastest.
It is for the first time in the last two years the U.S. can claim again the top position in the hierarchy. The Americans were beaten by China two years ago, while Fujitsu’s K Computer took the lead last year.
IBM’s computer is called Sequoia. It was revealed that it is capable of calculating in one hour what otherwise would take 6.7 billion people using hand calculators 320 years to complete if they worked non-stop.
The computer will be used to make simulations on research work in the nuclear sector. Its calculations would help extend the life of aging nuclear weapons, while reducing the need for real-world tests.
All Japan news’s K Computer, now world’s second fastest machine, equates the power of one million desktop computers linked together. “K” is actually a combination of computers linked together in 672 cabinets and it uses electricity worth of $10 million annually, enough to power about 10,000 homes – but it is still considered energy-efficient.
Powerful computers are essential in fields like quake simulations, nuclear research, oil research or climate modelling.