IBM have overtaken Japan and given the USA the world's fastest computer for the first time since China took the top spot two years ago. Since then, Fujisu's K Computer took the first place spot for Japan and has now taken the number two position.
IBM's Sequoia is based at the US Department of Energy's Livermore National Laboratory in California and will be used for carrying out simulations designed to make older nuclear weapons last longer.
This, according to the BBC, will avoid "the need for real-world underground tests”.
"While Sequoia may be the fastest, the underlying computing capabilities it provides give us increased confidence in the nation's nuclear deterrent," said National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) administrator Thomas D'Agostino.
"Sequoia also represents continued American leadership in high performance computing."
IBM has also warned that anyone who thinks that cloud and ‘as-a-Service' solutions take-up remains slow is misguided. According to Andy Monshaw, who is in charge of the firm's GM for SMEs worldwide, the acceleration in take-up of cloud based services is due to the economy.
This began, he says, with the 2008 credit crunch and has created a shift in businesses using value-added resellers (VAR) to a higher percentage moving to Managed Server Providers (MSP).
Monshaw went on to explain that "mid-market firms were not hamstrung by the same data governance issues as larger firms and so were more willing to use MSPs. They also do not have large IT teams and so were in the market for "consumer IT as a service".
The problem seems to be that VAR are not moving with the times and largely ignoring the shift in cloud service take-up.
IBM are the leading manufacturer of supercomputers (which we can't see being sold as-a-service) and takes 5 out of the top 10 spots in the world for the production of the machines. Sequoia uses more than 1.5 million processors and is 1.55 times faster than the K Computer.
Whilst China and Germany are also in the supercomputer race with two, Japan, France and Italy only have one and the UK has none at all in the top ten. However, David Turek, IBM's ‘deep computing VP, told the BBC that "[g]overnment laboratories in Europe have already expressed interest" in obtaining faster supercomputers from the company.