Holding onto the No. 1 spot with 1.105 petaflop/s (quadrillions of floating point operations per second) is the Roadrunner system at DOE’s Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) which was built by IBM and in June 2008 became the first system ever to break the petaflop/s Linpack barrier. It still is one of the most energy efficient systems on the TOP500.

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One thought on “The most powerful supercomputer in the world is …

  1. What’s most striking about the original article about incredibly fast computers is not the speed of the computers themselves. It’s that the article doesn’t mention or even hint at what this power and speed is going to be useful for! We’ve recently witnessed the global collapse of a financial system developed and managed by some of the brightest people in the world using the best computers available to them. They came off looking both stupid and greedy, or perhaps “stupid because greedy”. I don’t see any reason to think that faster computers will make people behave more intelligently since those computers will only be solving problems set them by people. History suggests these problems will mostly be about making money and waging war, possibly both at once. It’s not likely that a computer would tell its operators that a preoccupation with making money doesn’t make for a good life and that continuing to resolve problems using violence and destruction is not the road to prosperity and peace. From my perspective, then, the answer to the question, “When will computers be smarter than us” is “Never”. But it’s not the right question. We should be asking, “When will we be smarter than we are now?”

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