New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson today unveiled New Mexico's new supercomputer -- the 3rd fastest in the world. The supercomputer, named "Encanto" which means "enchanted," is housed at Intel Corp. in Rio Rancho.

"New Mexico is serious about developing its high-tech economy," said Richardson. "As news of our supercomputer spreads, more and more businesses and educational institutions want to work with the state."

Businesses, governments and schools will be able to utilize the new supercomputer. New Mexico's higher education institutions will be connected to the supercomputer via high-speed data connections. Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories have signed on as partners in the project.

Supercomputers can help companies develop new products, like more efficient cars. Governments can model climate change and ways to conserve energy. And students and faculty can tackle some of the hardest problems facing the country, from water conservation to economic forecasting.

New Mexico's supercomputer is projected to operate at 172 teraflops per second. One teraflop represents 1 trillion calculations per second. It's powered by 14,336 Intel Xeon processor cores, and has enough memory for 28,000 office computers.

"New Mexico's supercomputer outperformed top machines from around the world to be named 3rd fastest," said Elisa Storie, deputy secretary of the Department of Information Technology. "Our supercomputer is currently going through an intensive review to make sure it performs as well as it can."

SGI, a California company, built the Altix ICE system. SGI has an agreement with Intel to house the machine on its campus. The full installation and testing period will take place over the next several months.