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I guess it’s sort of a point of national pride but it’s sort of like the America’s Cup in yacht racing: incredibly expensive and incomprehensibly inapplicable to the daily lives of most of us. Nonetheless, we’re number one, we’re number one, and so forth. IBM’s newly installed Sequoia system is bigger, faster, and stronger than the top computer made by Fujitsu in Japan and thus America reclaims the title for the first time in two years.
Sequoia, which earns its name from the fact that it’s made entirely of wood, not really, will do more than just show off. It will actually do some hard work.
Sequoia will be used to carry out simulations to help extend the life of aging nuclear weapons, avoiding the need for real-world underground tests.
It is installed at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.
“While Sequoia may be the fastest, the underlying computing capabilities it provides give us increased confidence in the nation’s nuclear deterrent,” said National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) administrator Thomas D’Agostino.
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