IBM Battles China for World’s Fastest Supercomputer Title

Does IBM feel the need for speed?

China currently holds the title of world’s fastest supercomputer, a boast-worthy title that swelled Chinese chests back in October. But China had better get ready: IBM is gunning for them.

Big Blue recently announced plans to build a new Blue Gene/Q supercomputer named “Mira,” which will operate four times as fast as China’s speediest bullet PC. Tianhe-1, China’s current record holder, is capable of powering through 2.507 “petaflops” per second — that’s 2,507 trillion calculations per second. IBM claims its computer will hit 10 petaflops, or 10 quadrillion calculations per second.

To put that number in perspective, if every man, woman and child in the United States performed one calculation each second, it would take them almost a year to do as many calculations as Mira will do in a single second.

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