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Byline: Dan Stober
Nov. 19--A view of the Lawrence Livermore Lab, one of two nations labs in the United States with weapons-grade plutonium.
IBM has signed a $267 million contract to build two massive supercomputers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, each several times faster than anything in existence. The computers will be used for nuclear weapons simulation and other research and will reclaim the "world's fastest" title from a Japanese machine built by NEC.
The U.S. Department of Energy will announce the contracts today at a supercomputer conference in Baltimore. From IBM's perspective, the best news is that some of the same new chips are expected to start showing up next year in commercial servers, and then desktop machines and possibly video games.
The swifter of the two supercomputers, dubbed Blue Gene/L, will be powered by an astronomical …