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20 Jun 2017

Once again, China makes the fastest super computers

Chinese supercomputers the fastest on the planet: Researchers

Two Chinese supercomputers are the fastest machines on Earth, according to the researchers in the US and Germany.

Chinese machines Sunway TaihuLight and Tianhe-2 are the world's fastest and second-fastest on the list of semi-annual TOP500 supercomputers.

Switzerland's Piz Daint supercomputer installed at Swiss National Supercomputing Centre and the US's Titan are at the third and fourth places, respectively.

In context

Chinese supercomputers the fastest on the planet: Researchers

TaihuLight dethrones Tianhe-2

The TOP500 list described China's Sunway TaihuLight as "far and away the most powerful number-cruncher on the planet." It has maintained the lead since June 2016, when it defeated China's Tianhe-2, which was the champion for the previous three years.

Chinese machine tops for nine times in a row


Chinese machine tops for nine times in a row

It is for the ninth consecutive time that a Chinese supercomputer has topped the TOP500 rankings.

With a performance of 93 petaflops, TaihuLight was entirely built using processors designed and manufactured in China

Haohuan Fu, Deputy Director of National Supercomputing Centre (where TaihuLight was installed), said, "It highlights China's ability to conduct independent research in the supercomputing field."

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Homegrown industry

Supercomputing industry in China

China is simultaneously developing the hardware as well as software technologies of supercomputers.

Fu stated the rapid development of "homegrown hardware" supported by "homegrown software" will strengthen research and engineering test capacity in various fields.

He added it will also lead to the promotion of an "industrial upgrading and, eventually, a sustainable development of China's homegrown supercomputing industry."

Supercomputers at the first three runner-up spots


Supercomputers at the first three runner-up spots

With a performance of 33.9 petaflops, Tianhe-2 was based on Intel chips, something which the US government banned from selling to four Chinese supercomputing institutions since 2015.

Swiss Piz Daint, with a current performance of 19.6 petaflops has pushed The US's Titan to the fourth spot.

Titan's performance of 17.6 petaflops has been constant since its installation in 2012.

Where does US stand?

US failed to secure any of top three positions

According to organizers, it is for the second time in the TOP500's 24-year history that the US did not secure any of the top three ranks.

The first time this happened was in November 1996, when three Japanese supercomputers captured the top three positions.

However, the US still claimed five of the top 10 positions in the latest TOP500 list.

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