Supercomputers are at the core of many developments. Their uses span cracking codes to scientific research as well as predicting the weather. The also get faster with each passing year; no one super computer holds the title as the fastest for long. The K computer located in Kobe, Japan and built by Fujitsu became the first computer to be faster than 10 petaflops. That is, 10 quintillion floating operations per second. (that’s 1 followed by 16 zeros). It exceeds the previous place holder by about 7 petaflops. Running at 93% maximum efficiency, this massive computer is still being built. It is expected to be completed and running in one year. It has about 80,000 2GH cores and 16GM of memory for each one. The awesome computing power comes at the cost of about 10 mW of power, which computes to about 10 million in electric bills. While this computer is certainly no play toy (or consumer gadget), it may foreshadow what is to come. If moore’s law holds (and that remains to be seen), a computer of this power may be in most homes in a few decades.


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