IBM Reclaims Supercomputer Lead

But stay tuned—supercomputers are getting faster, at an even faster rate

3 min read

LATE LAST YEAR , the news that two heavyweight computers were racing for the title of world's fastest left an excited supercomputing community in suspense. The competition came to an end in November, when the Top500 supercomputer ranking project released its biannual report.

IBM's Blue Gene/L [see photo, " Your Move, Garry"], to be delivered this spring to the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., took the top spot, with a performance of 70.72 teraflops (trillion floating-point operations per second). Silicon Graphics' Columbia, built for NASA and named after the space shuttle lost in 2003, came in second, at 51.87 teraflops. The two machines displaced Japan's famed Earth Simulator to third place after that 35.86-teraflop computer had reigned supreme for two and a half years [see table, " The Top Three Supercomputers"].

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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