A new computer, K, built by Fujitsu and located in Kobe, Japan, represents a giant leap forward in speed.
The latest ranking of the top 500 computers is determined by running a standard mathematical equation. The winning computer was able to make 8.2 quadrillion calculations per second, or in more technical terms, 8.2 petaflops per second. It makes thousands of calculations faster than you can say calculation.
The performance of K is equivalent to linking about one million desktop computers. Supercomputers are used for earthquake simulations, climate modeling, nuclear research and weapons development and testing, among other things.
The fastest computer in the United States, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Oak Ridge, Tenn., placed third.