In the world of computers, it promises to be the biggest, fastest, and most mindboggling, of them all. Officials in Japan yesterday announced that they intend to build a supercomputer that will operate 73 times faster than the current top computer.
Number one at the moment is IBM's Blue Gene computer, in California, capable of handling 136.8 trillion mathematical calculations a second, or 136.8 teraflops. The Japanese machine, which could cost up to $900m, (about Â£515m) would leave it standing.
Japanese media reports said officials at the country's education and science ministry were aiming to develop a machine that could operate at 10 petaflops, or 10 quadrillion calculations a second. A computer that large needs tough challenges, and there are several being lined up for it.
In addition to tracking climate changes, this brute of a computer will be used to simulate the formation of the...