World’s Fastest Computer Is Quietly Turned On by the U.S. Government

Thursday, November 01, 2012
Titan Computer (Photo: Dept. of Energy)


After three years of not owning the world’s fastest computer, the U.S. government is once again back on top, thanks to the Department of Energy.


Energy officials on Monday unveiled Titan, a supercomputer so fast that its speed is measured in something called petaflops. One petaflop is equal to one thousand trillion calculations per second, and Titan is capable of doing 20 petaflops.


At that speed the government is expecting to reclaim the honor of having the fastest computer in the world when rankings are announced next month.


For the past three years, Japan, China, and Germany held the title.


Titan is not a new computer. The Energy Department took an existing one, the Cray at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, upgraded it and gave it a new name.


Scientists are hoping Titan will help with research in a wide range of fields and challenges, from climate change to biofuels to nuclear energy.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Top U.S. supercomputer guns for fastest in world (by David Goldman, CNN)

Oak Ridge and NVIDIA unveil Titan supercomputer (by Emi Kolawole, Washington Post)

ORNL Debuts Titan Supercomputer (Oak Ridge National Laboratory Press Release, U.S. Department of Energy)

Air Force Uses PlayStation Processors to Build Supercomputer (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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