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Originally appeared in Tuesday, November 09, 2004 Oak Ridger
URL: http://www.oakridger.com/stories/110904/new_20041109005.shtml

Blue speeds past supercomputer competitors

By: from staff and wire reports Big Blue has brought the title of the world's fastest supercomputer back to the United States for the first time in three years.

International Business Machine Corp.'s still incomplete system was officially named the fastest in the world Monday by the Top 500 project, an independent group of university computer scientists who release supercomputer rankings every six months.

The system was clocked at 70.72 trillion calculations per second, almost double the performance of the reigning leader - Japan's Earth Simulator, which can sustain 35.86 trillion calculations a second.

Big Blue will be installed next year at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where it will be used to study the nation's nuclear stockpile and perform other research. Currently, it's just a quarter of its planned size.

On the current Top 500 list, supercomputers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory rank at No. 29 and No. 80.

ORNL is in the process of building a supercomputer that is expected to achieve 100 teraflops by 2006 and 1,000 or more teraflops by the end of the decade. A teraflop is a measure of a computer's speed, and it equals about a trillion calculations per second.

The complete list of the Top 500 supercomputers is available on the Internet at www.top500.org.

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