Sequoia of the United States has overtaken and zipped past Japan's "K computer" as the planet's fastest supercomputer, according to rankings released June 18.
Experts said Sequoia, a supercomputer developed and constructed by IBM for the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is capable of performing 16,324 trillion calculations per second, about 1.5 times faster than the K computer.
The Sequoia computer is still under development, and scientists hope to increase its speed to 20,000 trillion calculations per second, twice the speed of the K computer.
Jointly developed by the Riken research institute and Fujitsu Ltd., the K computer ranked second in international rankings for computing speed, losing the No. 1 title it had maintained since June last year.
Experts from the United States and other countries compile the "Top 500" list for supercomputers twice a year. The latest list was released at an international conference being held in Hamburg, Germany.
Another U.S. computer is ranked third, followed by German and Chinese machines.
The K computer, which is located at the Riken Advanced Institute for Computational Science in Kobe, was first developed in 2006, with a total investment of 112 billion yen ($1.42 billion).
The Top 500 list for June last year recognized that the K computer achieved 8,162 trillion calculations per second, more than three times the speed of the Chinese Tianhe-1A supercomputer, which previously held the No. 1 ranking.
The K computer, which was later improved to a speed of 10,510 trillion calculations per second, maintained the top position on the November 2011 list.
The Japanese computer will officially be completed this month, and its full-fledged use is expected to start in late September.
“I hope the government will properly recognize the importance (of supercomputers) and continue to promote them,” said Masami Yamamoto, Fujitsu president, in response to the announcement of the new rankings.
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