IBM’s Sequoia supercomputer in June became the first U.S.-based system to reach No. 1 on the Top500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers. Six months later, the system—at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory—was moved to No. 2, displaced by Cray’s huge Titan supercomputer, housed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Titan, a massive XK7 system powered by Opteron processors from Advanced Micro Devices and GPU accelerators from Nvidia, hit a performance of 17.59 petaflops—or quadrillions of calculations per second—outdistancing Sequoia’s 16.32 petaflops.
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