Los Alamos National Labs with logo 2021

Roadrunner—on the road to Trinity

The first supercomputer to reach petaflop speed and to change supercomputer architecture
March 25, 2013
Roadrunner—on the road to exascale supercomputing

Roadrunner’s “hybrid” architecture gave it exceptional efficiency as well as record-breaking speed on the road to exascale supercomputing.


  • Managing Editor
  • Clay Dillingham
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Roadrunner got everyone thinking in new ways about how to build a supercomputer.

Roadrunner helps Lab to reach exascale supercomputing


  • Roadrunner used a new architecture to become the first petaflop supercomputer in the world.
  • The new Trinity supercomputer will be 40 to 50 times faster than Roadrunner, a step closer to exascale speed—1,000 times faster than Roadrunner.

Simulating nuclear weapon explosions is a big part of assessing the safety, security, and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile.

The supercomputers that Los Alamos weapons scientists use for those simulations are always on computation’s leading edge.

The Laboratory’s Roadrunner held the international speed record for computation in 2008. Its unique architecture inspired new supercomputer designs around the world, pushing computer speed and capability to greater heights.

The Laboratory is looking forward to its next, even-faster supercomputer, Trinity. Trinity’s architecture will include features radically new to the supercomputing world.

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