U.S. loses top supercomputer spot to Japan

The U.S. government has seven of the world's 10 fastest computers'but no longer the top-ranked one.

The new Earth Simulator system in Yokohama, Japan, packs more computing power than the next 12 fastest computers combined.

Using 5,104 vector processors from NEC Corp., the Earth Simulator clocked nearly 36 trillion floating-point operations per second on a standard benchmark test.

The Blue Ocean research supercomputer just bought by the Naval Oceanographic Office, an IBM eServer p690, will execute a predicted 6 TFLOPS'faster than all except the world's top three systems listed on the semiannual ranking at Top500.org.

The Energy Department holds six of the seven top-10 spots.

The Hewlett-Packard AlphaServer GS still under construction at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the new IBM p690 Turbo system at Oak Ridge National Laboratory scored 2.9 and 2.3 TFLOPS, respectively, on the benchmark.

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