Engineers have created the world’s fastest supercomputer, at Los Alamos Labs, USA, at a cost of $US120 million.

This computer will perform more than a million billion (1015) operations per second, or 1.1 Petaflops.1 This is a million times faster than a typical high performance personal computer.2

Why all this ‘crunch’ power? One purpose is to runPetaVision, a program that simulates the operation of the brain’s processing of visual information from the eye.3 For example, you might see a bird flying in the sky, which you immediately recognize as a bird. It takes such a ‘Petaflop’ supercomputer to do a similar thing.

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