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 In 2012, K was superceded by IBM’s Sequoia as the world’s fastest supercomputer.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.