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Vice President Gore Announces World's Fastest Computer

Also Highlights Two New Laws to Create a Faster Internet and Protect U.S. Copyrighted Works in the Digital Age

Washington, DC, THE WHITE HOUSE, Office of the Vice President - 28 Oct 1998: . . . Vice President Gore, joined by Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, unveiled today the world's fastest computer, which will break the "speed barrier for computing" by performing 3.9 trillion calculations per second -- 15,000 times faster than the average desktop personal computer.

"Over the last 50 years, innovation has accounted for half of our economic growth -- fueling our new economy and building a stronger, healthier, and more productive future for our children," Vice President Gore said. "That is why I am pleased to announce the world's fastest computer, which will lead to advances in, and greater understanding of, medicine, manufacturing, aviation safety, and global climate change."

The Energy Department's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and IBM developed the new machine, the "Blue Pacific," which has over 2.6 trillion bytes of memory -- 80,000 times more than the average desktop personal computer -- and could store all of the books in the Library of Congress. A person with a hand calculator would need 63,000 years to perform as many calculations as this computer can perform in a second.

"We've broken the 'speed barrier' and we're going to keep accelerating," Energy Secretary Bill Richardson said. "The Department of Energy needs these high speed computers to help ensure the safety, security, and reliability of our nuclear stockpile without nuclear testing."

In addition, the Vice President announced two new laws that will help harness the powerful forces of science and technology to grow the new economy. The laws will protect creative works in the digital age and create an Internet as much as 1,000 times faster than today's.

Protecting Copyrights in the Digital Era

The Vice President announced that the President has signed a bill to bring copyrights into the digital age. In December 1996, the Administration negotiated two treaties that provide clear international standards for intellectual property protection in the digital environment and protect U.S. copyrighted works, musical performances, and sound recordings from international piracy.

The copyright-based industries that produce and promote creative and high-technology products contribute over $60 billion a year to the balance of U.S. trade. This new law implements these treaties and extends intellectual protection into the digital era while preserving fair use and limiting infringement liability for providers of basic communication services. By creating clear rules for the digital highway, we will make commerce between businesses and with consumers safer.

Next Generation Internet

The Vice President also announced that the President had signed a bill for creating the Next Generation Internet -- a federal research and development initiative that will connect over 100 universities at speeds up to 1,000 times faster than today's Internet, and establish the foundation for the networks and applications, including telemedicine and distance learning. By creating a new platform for advanced communications, we will build on today's Internet for the 21st century.

The Vice President also noted that technology contributes to roughly 30 percent of the growth in the nation's economy (measured by Gross Domestic Product), adding over $1.1 trillion to national output in the last three years.

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Contact(s) information

Glen Brandow
IBM
(914) 766-3642
brandow@us.ibm.com

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