Monday, June 9th 2008
A government computer in New Mexico is the first supercomputer to perform at one petaflop (one thousand trillion calculations per second). Located at the Los Alamos National Laboratory of the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration, Roadrunner is twice as fast as IBM Blue Gene system at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, which was until now the fastest computer in the world. The new supercomputer is designed and built by IBM using both traditional computer chips and IBM's Cell Broadband Engine. Roadrunner occupies 6,000 square feet and weighs 500,000 lbs. It is also aiming to take place among the top energy-efficient systems on the official "Green 500" list of supercomputers. Roadrunner will be used primarily to ensure the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile. It will also do research into astronomy, energy, human genome science and climate change. Learn more here.