Nuclear bomb simulator explodes onto the scene

£110m super-computer unveiled by IBM...
Written by Mark Graham, Contributor on

£110m super-computer unveiled by IBM...

The most powerful computer in the world has been unveiled by scientists in the US who built it to simulate nuclear explosions. Supported by the US government, ASCI White (the Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative) is based at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and was built by IBM at a cost of £110m. It has been squeezed into a number of refrigerator-sized units and takes up the space equivalent of two basketball courts and weighs the same as 17 elephants. It has the capability to carry out 12.3 trillion calculations per second - the equivalent of which would take a single calculator up to 10 million years to achieve. The US government has not carried out an underground nuclear test for 10 years and a spokesman from the Lawrence Livermore Lab said the new computer is necessary because this generation of engineers have neither designed nor tested nuclear weapons. The ASCI programme aims to have another computer up and running by 2005, which will be able to carry out 100 trillion calculations per second.
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