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MOST EXPENSIVE COMPUTER

MOST EXPENSIVE COMPUTER

Despite having the two most expensive supercomputers in the world, Japan’s heralded technology has been lacking in the supercomputer department as of late. Still, the K computer, named for the Japanese word “kei,” and meaning 10 quadrillion, is the fourth fastest supercomputer in the world, with a theoretical peak speed of 11 PFLOPS. The system cost 140 billion yen, or $1.2 billion to create.

In 2011, TOP500 ranked K the world’s fastest supercomputer, and in November 2011 the system became the first computer to top 10 PFLOPS officially. In 2012, K was superceded by IBM’s Sequoia as the world’s fastest supercomputer. The K computer, located at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science, is 60 times faster than the Earth Simulator. K costs $10 million a year to operate, using 9.89 MW of power, or the equivalent of almost 10,000 suburban homes, or one million linked desktop computers.

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