A prototype IBM supercomputer has set a record of 70.72 trillion transactions per second.

The Mac-based supercomputer at Virginia Tech recently hit 12.25 teraflops.

The IBM Blue Gene/L supercomputer is currently being assembled for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Livermore plans to buy a unit four times the current supercomputer’s size, according to eBCVG.

A smaller version of the Blue Gene/L design beat NEC’s Earth Simulator less than a month ago. Built for the Japanese government, Earth Simulator has been one of the fastest computers on earth for nearly two years. Japan's NEC Earth Simulator, clocks up 35.86 teraflops.

Over the last two years a flurry of innovations in supercomputing, including expanded grid computing, the use of massive Apple and Linux clusters, and the use of entirely new storage mechanisms, has changed the face of supercomputing, according to the eBCVG report.

The Top 500 Supercomputer list is due next week. The list officially charts the fastest computers in the world. The BBC is carrying a report that describes the capabilities of the supercomputers currently topping the chart last compiled in June.

The recently updated Virginia Tech supercomputer is expected to figure in the list, although whether it is able to re-gain the number three position lost when the supercomputer was out of action during its transformation to a Xserve G5 model, remains to be seen.