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The US army has commissioned a new supercomputer to simulate complex weapons systems. Once built, it will rank as one of the top 20 most powerful computers on the planet.
The computer, named Stryker, will be capable of a peak performance of 10 trillion mathematical calculations per second - 10 teraflops. It will also be the most powerful computer in the world use the Linux operating system, a free alternative to Microsoft and Unix software.
The $15 million supercomputer will be used to aid the development of advanced weapons systems, according to a statement issued by the US army.
The machine will be built at the Army Research Laboratory Major Shared Resource Center (ARL MSRC) in Maryland. It will contain 2304 AMD Opteron 2.2 GHz processors in 1186 separate systems, connected together using very high speed networking equipment.
Charles Nietubicz, director of ARL MSRC, says Stryker will be used to model the behaviour of materials used in the development of new weapons. “The more closely we can represent the physics [underlying weapons systems], the more we know our predictions will be accurate,” he told New Scientist.