World's Fastest Computer Gets an Upgrade, Breaks Its Own Record

By James MulroyPCWorld    Nov 7, 2011 11:05 PM

The world's fastest computer, the "K" supercomputer by Fujitsu and RIKEN, will keep its title as by breaking its own speed record. How much number-crunching power are we talking about? It completely smashes the processing power of the world's second- through eight-fastest supercomputers combined, coming in at an astounding 10.51 petaflops. That thoroughly crushes the old record of 8.162 petaflops.
Fujitsu--an information technology company--and RIKEN--a large research institute in Japan--upgraded their K supercomputer with an additional 19,584 CPUs, allowing it to break its own world speed record in the number of calculations the computer can perform per second. The new record is an astounding 10.51 quadrillion calculations per second.
According to Fujitsu the letter "K," the name of the computer, "comes from the Japanese Kanji letter 'Kei' which means ten peta or 10 to the 16th power", or quadrillions of calculations per second. A "FLOP" is the number of floating-point operations per second; in layman's terms, it's the number of instructions the computer can process in a single second. Now that K reached10 petaflops, it holds true to its name.
The supercomputer became the world's fastest back in June 2011, replacing the Tianhe-1A at theNational Supercomputing Center in Tianjin which comes in at a mere 2.51 petaflops. The K supercomputer uses 88,128 SPARC64 VIIIfx CPUs across 864 computing racks. In June, it only (relatviely speaking) had 68,544 CPUs across 672 computing racks.

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