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IBM's 'Sequoia' supercomputer named world's fastest

IBM's supercomputer, the Sequoia, reclaimed the top spot for the United States from Japan after three years.

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IBM (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images) (Sean Gallup/AFP/Getty Images)

The IBM supercomputer designed for US government nuclear simulations and climate change study was named as the world's fastest on Monday, according to Agence France Presse.

The 2012 International Supercomputing Conference in Hamburg, Germany recognized Sequoia, which is installed at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, said AFP.

According to the BBC, the Sequoia unseated Japan's K Computer, made by Fujitsu, which dropped to second place. It was the first time the US returned to the top after being beaten by China two years ago.

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The supercomputer performs 16.32 petaflops per second, with a petaflop equaling a thousand trillion operations, according to AFP.

To put that in perspective, the BBC said, "The computer is capable of calculating in one hour what otherwise would take 6.7 billion people using hand calculators 320 years to complete if they worked non-stop."

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According to the Top 500 list which ranks the world's supercomputers, Sequoia is the most energy efficient, said the Guardian.

Of those that made it to the top 10, three were in the US, two were in China and two were in Germany. Japan, France and Italy each owned the others and IBM was responsible for five out of the 10, said the Guardian.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/technology/120618/ibms-sequoia-supercomputer-worlds-fastest