The world's fastest supercomputer, Roadrunner was unveiled on Monday. A $100 million machine that could perform 1000 trillion calculations per second, and mostly it could sustain its activity. The project was accomplished by engineers from Alamos National Labs and IBM corp.
According to IBM, Roadrunner is twice as fast as IBM's Blue Gene System which itself is 3 times faster than any other super computers in the world. Since the computer is a speed demon, it could be used for nuclear weapons research. But officials said the computer also could have a wide range of other applications in civilian engineering, medicine and science, from developing biofuels and designing more fuel efficient cars to finding drug therapies and providing services to the financial industry.
To put Roadrunner's speed in perspective, if every one of the 6 billion people on earth used a hand-held computer and worked 24 hours a day it would take them 46 years to do what the Roadrunner computer can do in a single day.
The interconnecting system of Roadrunner occupies 6,000 square feet with 57 miles of fiber optics and weighs 500,000 pounds. Although made from commercial parts, the computer consists of 6,948 dual-core computer chips and 12,960 cell engines, and it has 80 terabytes of memory.
The cost: $100 million.