DATA: Who's the Fastest One of All?

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Science  20 Jul 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5529, pp. 399
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5529.399c

And they're off—competitors from around the world are racing to build the most powerful supercomputer. Keep tabs on their progress at TOP500, maintained by the University of Mannheim in Germany and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The site ranks the top 500 high-performance supercomputers based on their speed in crunching a set of hairy linear equations. IBM may have lost out in the PC market, but it claims six of the leading 10 slots in the latest supercomputer rankings. The winner, a 8192-processor system used for simulating nuclear explosions at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California, clocks in at more than 12 trillion operations per second, 20,000 times faster than a PC. The computer experts behind TOP500 have been running time trials since 1993 and publish updated rankings every 6 months.

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