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U.K. to spend $90 million on supercomputer

Hector will have top speed of 100 teraflops and be used by British scientists in their research.

The U.K. government is giving 52 million pounds ($90.4 million) to a project to build one of the world's fastest supercomputers. The Hector (High-End Computing Terascale Resource) project is an ambitious plan to build a supercomputer for Britain's scientists to use in their cutting-edge research. When built, it will be capable of 100 teraflops--six times more powerful than the U.K.'s current supercomputers, and powerful enough to simulate climate systems and extremely detailed atomic structures.

Hector, scheduled for launch in 2007, will be built and managed by the Research Councils of the U.K. The world's fastest nonsecret supercomputer is Blue Gene/L, based at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, with a top speed of 367 teraflops. At present, Europe's most powerful supercomputer is based at the Julich Research Center in Germany and is capable of 45.6 teraflops.

Graeme Wearden reported for ZDNet UK from London.