Sequoia is the world’s fastest supercomputer (used for weapons testing)
2012-06-19 0:00

By Charles Arthur |

The US is back at the top of the supercomputing leagues for the first time in almost three years, reclaiming the title from Japan, thanks to a new system developed by IBM.

The computer, Sequoia, uses IBM’s BlueGene/Q servers and at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory it achieved 16.32 petaflops – trillions of floating-point calculations per second – using more than 1.5m processor cores.

Sequoia is also one of the most energy-efficient systems on the biannual Top 500 list which ranks the world’s known supercomputers, released on Monday.


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Sequoia will simulate nuclear explosions to a degree that was previously impossible, but it will also give researchers insight into what’s happening to weapons in the country’s weapons stockpile without actually testing nuclear bombs.
“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,” Lawrence Livermore said in a statement.


U.S. reclaims top spot in super-computer wars with machine that ’can do more in an hour than the world’s population working non-stop for 320 years’

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