IBM smashes supercomputing record 17:57 05 November 04 NewScientist.com news service A complex supercomputer being constructed for the US government has demonstrated double the power of the long-reigning supercomputing champion, despite being only partially built. IBM's BlueGene/L achieved a record-breaking performance of 70.72 teraflops, announced Spencer Abraham, US energy secretary, on Thursday. A single teraflop is one million million floating-point operations - or intensive mathematical calculations - per second, and is about 100 times faster than the most powerful desktop computers. The new speed by BlueGene/L is precisely twice as fast as the computer officially ranked the world's fastest - NEC's Earth Simulator, based at Yokohama, Japan. BlueGene/L has been developed in cooperation with the US department of energy's National Nuclear Security Administration and is being constructed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California. Chart success The official list of the 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world will be revealed at the Supercomputing Conference 2004 (SC2004), in Pittsburgh on Monday. The Earth Simulator currently occupies the number one spot with a peak performance of 35.86 teraflops. But now BlueGene/L seems destined to storm straight to the top of the chart. Known as the TOP500, the list is compiled by a handful of supercomputing experts using an industry standard software benchmark called LINPACK. It is published twice a year. NEC's grip on the top spot has seemed increasingly precarious as several companies have claimed to possess the world's fastest computer in recent months. Extracted from here.