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Japan computer smashes speed record
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Nov 4, 2011

A Japanese supercomputer has broken its own record as the world's fastest machine by performing 10 quadrillion calculations per second, its developers announced.

The "K Computer", which has more than 88,000 central processing units -- the computer's "brain" -- compared with the fewer than four in the average desktop, smashed its own record of just over 8 quadrillion calculations during an experiment in October. A quadrillion is a thousand trillion.

Supercomputers operate roughly 10,000 times faster than ordinary personal computers.

Among other things, supercomputers are used by scientists investigating the effects of seismic waves and tsunamis to predict what effect they may have on buildings.

Ryoji Noyori, president of Riken, the company that jointly developed the machine alongside Fujitsu, said it was a landmark achievement in computing.

"The K Computer is a key national technology that will help lay the foundation for Japan's further progress," he said on Wednesday.

"I am delighted that it has achieved its major objective, demonstrating our strong technical power."

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