World's Fastest Computer

Scientists unveiled the world's fastest supercomputer on Monday, a $100 million machine that for the first time has performed 1,000 trillion calculations per second in a sustained exercise. The computer, named Roadrunner, is twice as fast as IBM's Blue Gene system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which itself is three times faster than any of the world's other supercomputers, according to IBM. To put the computer's speed in perspective, if every one of the 6 billion people on earth used a hand-held computer and worked 24 hours a day it would take them 46 years to do what the Roadrunner computer can do in a single day. The interconnecting system occupies 6,000 square feet with 57 miles of fiber optics and weighs 500,000 pounds. Although made from commercial parts, the computer consists of 6,948 dual-core computer chips and 12,960 cell engines, and it has 80 terabytes of memory.