The Japanese ‘K” Computer Laps the Competition

The New York Times, Monday, June 20,2011, B6, by Verne G. Kopytoff

San Francisco – “In the rankings of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, a Japanese machine has earned the top spot with a performance that essentially laps the competition.”  …

“The winning computer was able to make 8.2 quadrillion caculations per second, or in more technical terms, 8.2 petaflops per second.” This “is equivalent to linking around one million desktop computers…”

Laps the competetion or lapping the competition is a sports metaphor or idiom used in track and field, swimming, horse and automobile racing, among others.  In swimming, for instance, a lap is usually the length of the pool, whether 50 or 100 meters.  If one laps another swimmer in long distance swimming, one is one lap ahead of that swimmer, and most of the time when it is used the swimmer is one lap ahead of the nearest competitor.



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