Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists claim they have developed a supercomputer capable of performing 1,000 trillion calculations a second with help from IBM.

The computer is named Roadrunner, according to AP, and will be used on nuclear weapons work, including simulating nuclear explosions.

To put the computer’s speed in perspective, it has roughly the computing power of 100,000 of today’s most powerful laptops stacked 2.5 kilometres high, according to IBM. Or, if each of the world’s 6 billion people worked on hand-held computers for 24 hours a day, it would take them 46 years to do what the Roadrunner computer can do in a single day. Or, if every single one of us paid Big Blue 10 bucks, the company could build another one.

Roadrunner is twice as fast as IBM’s Blue Gene system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. In fact, scientists said the only thing capable of moving faster than the supercomputer is IBM’s accounting department to the bank to cash the US$100 million cheque.

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