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China Develops Supercomputer

China unveiled its fastest supercomputer yesterday, known as a petaflop. At its peak speed, it can do more than one quadrillion calculations per second.

The birth of the supercomputer, named "Tianhe," which means "Milky Way," makes China the second country, after the United States, to build a petaflop computer. This gigantic device can do as many calculations in one day as those done by an ordinary dual-core personal computer in 160 years, said Li Nan, director of the Tianhe Project Office under the National University of Defense Technology, developer of the supercomputer.

The supercomputer has many practical applications, and will be used in seismic data processing, for oil exploration, bio-medical research, development of aerospace vehicles, long-term weather and climate forecasting, financial data analysis and pollution control in the Bohai Sea area.

Source: People’s Daily, October 29, 2009