K is built by the Japanese computer firm Fujitsu, based in Kobe’s Riken Advanced Institute for Computational Science. It is capable of making 8.2 quadrillion (a quadrillion is 1 followed by 15 zeroes) calculations per second – or, in computer jargon, 8.2 petaflops.
The previous fastest machine was the Chinese computer Tianhe-1A, which was clocked at 2.507 petaflops.
The rankings for the world’s fastest computers are kept by a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, one Jack Dongarra. He releases a six-monthly list detailing the top 500 machines, as determined by a their ability to run a standard mathematical equation. The new list is released today.
So where does the U.S. rank?
The USA holds a further four of the top 10 slots, although four of the top five are Chinese or Japanese.