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Intel Corp. is claiming the record for the world's fastest computer, saying an experimental machine at the California Institute of Technology has achieved the top performance ever recorded.

In the so-called Linpack test, the Intel Touchstone Delta supercomputer at the Pasadena university performed 8.6 billion mathematical calculations per second, the company said Thursday. The previous record was 5.2 billion, set in March by supercomputermaker Thinking Machines Corp. of Cambridge, Mass.The Linpack test is the most widely accepted measure of high computer performance.

But Jack Dongarra, the University of Tennessee researcher who devised the test, said the record probably won't last very long because supercomputers are developing so quickly.

The Intel results, however, offer significant evidence that a technology called massively parallel processing can shine in such enormous tasks as long-term weather prediction, Dongarra said.

Machines with such technology achieve great speed by linking hundreds of microprocessor chips like those found inside personal computers to work on many parts of a problem at once.