According to some leaked government documents, IBM is working on building a monstrous $200 million petaflop supercomputer. Commissioned by the National Science Foundation, it would be the fastest computer in the world, the first to break the petaflop barrier. For you folks keeping track at home, a petaflop is a thousand trillion mathematical operations per second. Yeah, that's fast.
To be located in Chicago, the computer would reportedly cost not only $200 million to build, but over $400 million to maintain over its five-year lifetime. It'll be used for only a small number of "Grand Challenge" science projects, such as simulating global warming and playing Crysis at 60fps. Your quad-core XPS tower just got a lot less impressive. [Boston via The Raw Feed]