Europe's Most Powerful Computer Unveiled In Germany

The most powerful computer in Europe, 15,000 times faster than the average home PC, was unveiled at a German research centre on March 6. The version of the IBM-built Blue Gene machine at the Juelich Research Centre has managed processing speeds of 46 teraflops, equivalent to 46 trillion operations a second.

The supercomputer will allow physicians, chemists, biologists and medical researchers to make highly complex calculations.

"It is a terrific tool for scientific programs which require immense calculating power," said Peter Schaefer, from the centre, which is situated near to the western German cities of Aachen and Cologne.

Ninety percent of the funding came from the German federal state, with the remaining 10% contributed by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia where Juelich is situated. According to the respected www.top500.org website, which provides a ranking of supercomputers, the Juelich-based machine beats the current holder of the most powerful computer in Europe, a machine in Barcelona.

The world's most powerful computer is a more advanced version of the Blue Gene, based at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy laboratory in California. It is capable of 367 teraflops a second.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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