NHK World TV had a documentary on Sunday night, reporting that the world’s fastest supercomputer in the city of Kobe is nearing completion. It is called the K computer. The water-cooled beast has more than 80,000 nodes and consumes 13 MW of electricity. That’s enough power for 10,000 homes. It is the first machine to break 10 petaflops : 10 15 or 10 quadrillion calculations per second. It used mostly for research – molecular modeling and finding matching molecules or genes for cancer treatments and the like.