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China tops list of fastest supercomputers
June 17, 2013, 10:01 am


Supercomputer Tianhe-2 developed by China’s National University of Defence Technology [Xinhua]

A supercomputer developed by Chinese researchers has been ranked as the world’s fastest computing system, overtaking a system made by the United States.

According to TOP500, a project ranking the 500 most powerful computer systems in the world, Tianhe-2 developed by China’s National University of Defence Technology, is capable of operating as fast as 33.86 petaflops per second.

The Chinese supercomputer overtook Titan, installed at the US department of energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is now ranked second with a performance of 17.59 petaflops per second.

Tianhe-2 marks China’s return to the top of the list of most powerful computer systems.

China last last held the top position in November 2010 when Tianhe-1A was the best system – Tianhe-1A is now ranked 10th in the list.

TOP500 editor Horst Simon, deputy director of the US Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, described Tianhe-2 as being “a great accomplishment” for China.

Tianhe-2 demonstrates that China can build a large system with a string component of domestically developed technology and shows China’s strong technology investments in high-performance computing (HPC), Simon said in an interview with Xinhua.

Overall, the US is the leader in supercomputing systems, taking up more than half of the entries in the list.

As a nation, China now holds second position with 65 entries, ahead of Japan, Britain, France and Germany.

“The US continues to be the leading country in HPC [high-performance computing], but the gap is closing,” said Simon.

According to Simon, countries that still lag behind such as India and Brazil are expected to invest more heavily and China could become an exporter for HPC technology to developing countries.


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