According to The New York Times, the computer, called “K,” is three times faster than the next fastest computer, a Chinese computer, Tianhe-1A, that previously held the highest spot.
K, built by Fujitsu, can make 8.2 quadrillion calculations each second. “K” stands for “Kei,” meaning 10 quadrillion, or the number of calculations per second researchers hope K will one day be able to perform per second. K’s abilities are the equivalent of linking one million desktop computers.
K is made out of 672 computer racks, with 68,544 computer processing units (CPUs) but the lab plans to raise that number to 800 racks, a move that will make the machine even speedier and more powerful.
Scientists expect that the computer will be used in fields including climate research and disaster prevention, as well as medicine. The machine is scheduled for deployment in 2012.
“Bringing together hundreds of thousands of components to quickly launch such a massive-scale computing system-which would have been nearly impossible using conventional technologies-requires an incredible level of reliability,” wrote Michiyoshi Mazuka, Chairman of Fujitsu Limited in a press release. “I believe that this reliability is truly the pinnacle of Japanese manufacturing.”
The U.S. has five of the world’s ten most powerful computers, with a computer in Oak Ridge, Tennessee coming in third on the overall list.