The new IBM cluster system, Sequoia, took number one spot in the world’s fastest 500 supercomputers, a closely-watched measure of international technological prowess.
The machine, which runs the Linux operating system and was first announced in 2009, has been installed across 4,500 square feet of the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, to carry out simulations of nuclear weapons tests.
“Supercomputers such as Sequoia have allowed the United States to have confidence in its nuclear weapons stockpile over the 20 years since nuclear testing ended in 1992,” the laboratory said in a statement.
Sequoia was measured at 16.32 petaflops, or 16 thousand trillion calculations per second, and is said to be capable of 20 petaflops. It unseated the reigning champion, the K Computer, built by Fujitsu in Japan, which is capable of more than 10 petaflops.
“While Sequoia may be the fastest, the underlying computing capabilities it provides give us increased confidence in the nation’s nuclear deterrent,” said National Nuclear Security Administration administrator Thomas D’Agostino.
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