IBM has stepped up to the plate with plans to build the world's fastest supercomputer. Codenamed Roadrunner, the computer will be built in a US laboratory, and will contain Sony's Cell chip, which will be used in Sony's Playstation 3. Running at "petaflop speeds", the machine should be able to process 1.6 thousand trillion calculations per second, which is much faster than the current computing champ, Blue Gene/L.
"By comparison, BlueGene/L is capable of mere "teraflop" (trillion calculations per second) speeds.
Installed at the DOE's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and also used for the DOE's Stockpile Stewardship Program, it has achieved 280.6 teraflops and is theoretically capable of 367 teraflops.
Roadrunner should be capable of much more. It will achieve its superfast performance using a hybrid design, built with off-the-shelf components."