IBM unveils the world’s fastest computer ever

IBM’S Sequoia has been crowned the world’s fastest supercomputer, propelling the US back to the top spot after it was knocked off by China in 2009.

The Californian computer is more than 1.5 times faster than the second ranked machine, Japan’s K computer built by Fujitsu.

IBM said: “Sequoia is a major achievement in computing. It sets a new world record [for operations speed] by a considerable margin and its technology requires one tenth of the space than the previous number one.”

Based at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, Sequoia will work as a critical part of President Obama’s nuclear security agenda by enhancing the understanding of weapons performance.

Sequoia will “enable simulations that explore phenomena at a level of detail never before possible” which will result in the extension of the life of nuclear weapons without the need for actual underground tests.

“Sequoia also represents continued American leadership in high performance computing, key to the technology innovation that drives high-quality jobs and economic prosperity,” said Thomas D’Agostino, an administrator at NNSA, a division of the US Department of Energy.

The US lays claim to three of the world’s top ten fastest computers, with China and Germany contributing two each and Japan, France and Italy filling in the gaps.

IBM built five of the top ten speedy powerhouses.