Cell powers fastest ever computer.

ARMONK, N.Y. – A supercomputer built with components originally designed for video games will soon be monitoring the nation’s nuclear stockpile.

IBM says it built the machine _ nicknamed “Roadrunner” _ for the Energy Department’s Los Alamos Lab. Executives at IBM touted it Monday as the fastest ever, capable of processing more than one thousand trillion calculations per second.

That’s twice as fast as IBM’s “Blue Gene” system, currently ranked number one on an industry list of the world’s most powerful computers.

The $133 million Roadrunner is composed of off-the-shelf components, including almost 7,000 dual-core Advanced Micro Devices Opteron processors and almost 13,000 Cell processors jointly designed by IBM and Sony originally for use Playstation video-game consoles.


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