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IBM Powers the World's Most Powerful Supercomputer

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After a two-year loss, the United States has regained the top spot in supercomputing, thanks to a machine built by IBM (NYSE: IBM).

The supercomputer -- which can be found at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory -- can produce 16.32 sustained petaflops. According to Computerworld, the ultra-powerful machine is named Sequoia and contains more than 1.57 million compute cores "and relies on architecture and parallelism, and not Moore's Law, to achieve its speeds," the publication wrote.

But Michael Papka, a deputy associate director for computing, environment and life sciences at the Argonne National Laboratory, told Computerworld that we're at a point where "the processors themselves aren't really getting any faster."

"Moore's Law is generally slowing down and we're doing it (getting faster speeds) by parallelism," Papka explained.

IBM has a lot to celebrate this morning. With its technology, the United States is the easy world leader in high-performance computing technology. According to Computerworld, the company secured five of the top 10 spots in supercomputing, along with 213 systems out of the 500 on the list.

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), another American tech company, came in at number-two with 141 systems on the list.

Meanwhile, Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) processors appeared in roughly 75% of the supercomputers on the list. Thirteen percent came from AMD (NYSE: AMD).

Earlier this morning, IBM announced that it had produced a new hot-water cooled supercomputer that will consume 40% less energy. Officially dubbed the LRZ "SuperMUC" system, the company said that it was built with IBM System x iDataPlex Direct Water Cooled dx360 M4 servers "with more than 150,000 cores to provide a peak performance of up to three petaflops, which is equivalent to the work of more than 110,000 personal computers."

"Put another way, three billion people using a pocket calculator would have to perform one million operations per second each to reach equivalent SuperMUC performance," IBM wrote in a company release.

IBM also said that its hot-water cooling technology (which the company invented) has enabled the system to be built 10 times more compact.

Follow me @LouisBedigianBZ

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