Tags: chinese | supercomputer | worlds | fastest

Chinese Supercomputer Named World's Fastest By A Lot

By Gina Roberts-Grey   |   Monday, 17 Jun 2013 02:07 PM

Twice a year, Top500 publishes a list of the 500 most powerful computers systems in the world. Topping the charts on the June 2013 list is a supercomputer that China’s National University of Defense Technology built.

Named “Tianhe-2,” which means “Milky Way-2,” the computer is said to process at unbelievable speeds, computing 33,860 trillion calculations per second.

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Tianhe-2 has a firm lock on the top spot and its closest competitor, “Titan,” is a U.S.-made machine that performs at nearly half the pace. The U.S. Department of Energy developed Titan.

Supercomputers like these can perform a myriad of tasks for private companies and the government alike; they can be used to design jetliners, simulate nuclear explosions, and model weather systems.

This isn’t the first time a supercomputer made in China topped the list. Tianhe-2’s predecessor, Tianhe-1, earned the top spot in 2010. Tianhe-1 is currently the 10th fastest supercomputer in the world.

Five of the list’s 10 fastest computers were made in the U.S.; two were made in China; two were made in Germany, and one was made in Japan. Overall, the U.S. dominates the list, laying claim to 252 of the 500 systems that made the top 500. The list’s website says 119 Asian machines and 112 European machines round out the top 500.

And while most of Tianhe-2’s components and features were developed in China, its main processor was designed by the U.S. developing giant Intel. Five of the top ten supercomputers were built by IBM, as were 34 of the fastest 100.

"Most of the features of the system were developed in China...the interconnect, operating system, front-end processors and software are mainly Chinese," said Top500’s editor, Jack Dongarra.

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Topping the charts for the world's fastest, on the June 2013 list, is a supercomputer that China’s National University of Defense Technology built.
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