China’s supercomputers ace to world dominance and win over US

Supercomputers are the enormous machines that have the ability to occupy entire buildings. By reconstructing billions of years of the universe’s history, these computers are helpful in simulating nuclear weapons explosions, designing aircraft, investigating the cosmos etc.

For the first time, China has been able to dominate the list of 500 fastest computers and has pushed U.S. in the second place. On the top 500 list, the country has the most systems. It has come up from 159 to 202 from the last six months. China has overtaken the U.S. in terms of total performance of those machines.

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The news indicates the prominent change taken place in the international balance of high end computing power. This is closely linked to industrial, military, and academic abilities. In conjunction with SC conference, this top 500 list is released twice a year. The University of Tennessee and the cloud-computing company get it compiled by the researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. With a sped test named as Linpack, it ranks supercomputers by identifying how fast mathematical calculations can be performed.

The list shows that the two top supercomputers are in China. At the country’s National Supercomputing Centre, Sunway TaihuLight was clocked at 93.01 petaflops, or 93 quadrillion calculations per second. The second machine is present in Guangzhou at the National Supercomputer Center and scored 33.86 petaflops. These are the two spots that are considered to be leading for two years.

The spot is expected to be reclaimed by U.S. because a machine built by IBM is known as Summit at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is claimed to have been designed for reaching 200 petaflops. With each new release of the Top 500 list,  the power of supercomputing has been increasing steadily. In 2012, the progress was limited by diminishing processor speed movements which slowed down the process a bit.

Now, organizers of the list are starting to rank the big machines with the help an improved designed test. This is expected to be able to better handle the range of computing tasks, the High-Performance Conjugate Gradient (HPCG).


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