Japanese supercomputer beats world record (again)

A Japanese supercomputer has taken the crown as the fastest in the world after performing over 10 quadrillion calculations per second.

Named the K Computer, it has more than 88,128 central processors, which makes it a tad more powerful than your average quad core home PC, setting a record 10.51 petaflops.

The K Computer, developed by Fujitsu and Riken, was able to smash its own personal best of 8 quadrillion calculations earlier this year.

It has not yet reached its theoretical top speed yet however. This is said to be a maximum of 11.28 petaflops.

The system uses 864 racks for its vast array of CPUs, and has an executition efficiency of 93.2 percent, pushing it even further ahead at the TOP500 list of supercomputers, having scored 93.0 percent previously.

Apparently the supercomputer showed high levels of reliability, running with 88,128 CPUs witout a single failure for 29 hours and 28 minutes.

The supercomputer will continue to be jointly developed by Riken and Fujitsu with the aim of shared use in November next year.  It is not known whether it will be subjected to the indignity of appearing on day time TV gameshows like IBM’s Watson.

In fact it is more likely it will be put to use analysing nanomaterials and could be used in the development of next generation semiconductor materials such as nanowires and carbon nanotubes.

It could also help in development of dye-sensitised solar cells with a much higher energy conversion efficiency, or in a variety of pharmaceutical applications.