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India Joins The Teraflop Society

It's the fifth country to have a supercomputer capable of processing 1 trillion calculations per second
BANGALORE, India (AP) -- India has become the world's fifth nation to have a supercomputer capable of processing 1 trillion calculations per second, according to news reports Wednesday.

India's Information Technology Minister Arun Shourie unveiled the computer, named Param Padma--The Ultimate Lotus--in Bangalore on Tuesday, The Hindu Business Line newspaper said. Bangalore is India's infotech hub.

Param Padma, designed by the government's Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, has 10 times the capacity of the country's earlier supercomputers.

Only the United States, Japan, Israel and China have supercomputers capable of processing more than 1 trillion calculations per second, known as a teraflop.

The world's fastest computer is in Japan. Running 35.6 trillion calculations per second, the Earth Simulator is almost five times faster than the next best one and as fast as the top five U.S. supercomputers combined.

Experts say supercomputers can make climate research much more accurate, predict natural disasters, map the course of a disease such as AIDS, calculate the spread of a virus after a bioterrorist attack and speed the discovery of new drugs by simulating the interactions between chemicals and the human body.