There is a list updated twice a year with the Top 500 supercomputers in the world. Along with this, it’s a constant race to see who can nab that number one spot. Titan and Sequoia seem to be the top 2.
As of June of 2012, Sequoia is an IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputer located at Lawrence Livermore in California capable of 16 petaflops (16 quadrillion calculations per second) and took the number one spot over Japan’s K computer. It is equal to roughly 20 million laptops. It has 98,000 nodes.
Then in November of 2012, Titan took the number one spot. It is located in Oak Ridge, a Tennessee lab run by the Department of Energy. This Cray machine is made of 19,000 16-core AMD processors and capable of 20 petaflops (20 thousand trillion calculations per second).
Going over these stats is mind boggling but that sparked a question that begged to be answered. How powerful is the human brain?
The human cortex has about 22 billion neurons and 220 trillion synapses. Researchers figure that simulating the human brain would require at least 36.8 petaflops and a memory capacity of 3.2 petabytes. Crazy! We are getting very close though certainly there would be other factors involved.
In November 2011, the total supercomputing power of the Top 500 list was 74.2 petaflops.
It is estimated that Google has well over 20 petaflops of processing power in their empire.
Do you feel simulating the human brain is ever going to be possible?