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World’s 5 fastest computers
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The latest ranking of the Top500 project has made a list of the world’s fastest computers.According to a report in New Scientist, the chart is based on the maximum rate at which a computer can crunch numbers using what are called floating point operations.November’s list features the five fastest computers on the planet.On number 5 in the Top500 list is the Tianhe-1, which is China’s fastest computer. At 563 teraflops, it proved capable of more than 500 trillion operations per second.Tianhe is housed at the National Super Computer Center, Tianjin, and is more than four times faster than the previous top computer in the country.The computer combines 6144 Intel processors with 5120 graphics processing units made by AMD, normally found in computer graphics cards.

At number 4 is the Jugene at Julich Supercomputing Centre in Germany, which has a computing power of 825 teraflops.It is based on IBM’s Blue Gene/P design, which uses many small, low-power chips.Individual processors in this design have a maximum speed of 850 megahertz, slower than the average home computer. But, 292,000 chips working together make it the fastest machine in Europe.At number three is the Kraken, which is based at the National Institute for Computational Sciences.At 831 teraflops, it has 100,000 dual-core Opteron processors made by AMD, typically used in servers and high-end workstations.Kraken is the fastest computer in the world owned and operated by an academic institution - the University of Tennessee.

At number two is the Roadrunner that resides at Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico.At 1042 teraflops, Roadrunner was the first computer to ever break the 1 petaflop barrier - 1,000,000,000,000,000 calculations per second.

The computer has an unusual design that combines dual-core processors made by AMD, of a type found in many consumer machines, with the nine-core Cell processor at the heart of Sony’s PlayStation 3 games console.

The world’s fastest computer is the US Department of Energy’s Jaguar, which is housed with Kraken at Oak Ridge National Lab.At 1.8 petaflops, nearly 70 per cent faster than Roadrunner, Jaguar is the newly crowned fastest machine in the world.Unveiled last year, Jaguar’s 181,000 cores only started work this year.

Much of Jaguar’s work is focused on modelling climate change and energy generation, with other basic science such as studies of the structure of water also getting a look-in. (ANI)

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