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article imageByte My Dust

By Lenny Stoute     Jun 27, 2007 in Technology
It's high noon in Cyberworld as IBM's fastest gun Blue Gene/P, steps up to take the title of Fastest Computer in the world, knocking off defending champion BlueGene/L, also from the IBM stable.
Blue Gene/P is three times more potent than the current fastest machine, BlueGene/L.
The latest number cruncher is capable of operating at so called "petaflop" speeds - the equivalent of 1,000 trillion calculations per second.
Approximately 100,000 times more powerful than a PC, the first machine has been bought by the US government.
It will be installed at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois later this year.
Two further machines are planned for US laboratories and a fourth has been bought by the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council for its Daresbury Laboratory Cheshire.
The ultra powerful machines will be used for complex simulations to study everything from particle physics to nanotechnology
Currently the most powerful machine is Blue Gene/L, housed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.
Used to ensure that the US nuclear weapons stockpile remains safe and reliable, it has achieved 280.6 teraflops or trillions of calculations per second.
The machine packs 131,072 processors and is theoretically capable of reaching 367 teraflops.
By comparison the standard one petaflop Blue Gene/P comes with 294,912-processors connected by a high-speed, optical network.
Blue Gene/L plans to retire from competitive computing completely, with no plans to go into coaching or TV.
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