WASHINGTON (AP) -- Scientists unveiled the world's fastest supercomputer Monday, a $100 million machine that for the first time has performed 1,000 trillion calculations per second in a sustained exercise.
An IBM engineer inspects the world's fastest computer in the company's Poughkeepsie, New York, plant.
The technology breakthrough was accomplished by engineers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the IBM Corp. on a computer to be used primarily on nuclear weapons work, including simulating nuclear explosions.
The computer, named Roadrunner, is twice as fast as IBM's Blue Gene system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which itself is three times faster than any of the world's other supercomputers, according to IBM.
"The computer is a speed demon. It will allow us to solve tremendous problems," said Thomas D'Agostino, head of the National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees nuclear weapons research and maintains the warhead stockpile.
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.