China reclaims world's fastest supercomputer title

By on June 18, 2013, 8:30 AM
china, united states, us, supercomputer, titan, tianhe-2, milky way-2

The United States no longer plays home to the world’s fastest supercomputer. That title is now owned by China’s Tianhe-2 (also known as the Milky Way-2) supercomputer which recently produced 33.86 petaflops per second in Linpack according to the Top 500 Supercomputer Sites.

The computer, part of the country’s National University of Defense Technology, will be installed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzho, China, by the end of the year. If you’re keeping score, that’s a full two years before it was expected to be ready.

China’s new supercomputer didn’t just beat all others – it destroyed them by a large margin. The Titan, a US supercomputer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, scored just 17.59 petaflops per second in the same test. In fact, 26 systems in the Top 500 are now benching at over a petaflop and collectively, the top 500 systems are benching at 223 petaflops per second.

This marks the first time that China has topped the bi-annual Top 500 List of supercomputers since the country’s Tianhe-1A held the spot in November 2010. It’s worth noting that China’s supercomputer consumes 17,808kW of power while the Titan sucks down just 8,029kW.

Rounding out the top six supercomputers are the US-based Sequoia at 17.13 petaflops per second, Japan’s K computer at 10.51 petaflops, the US’ Mira with a score of 8.58 petaflops and the Stampede at the University of Texas with 5.16 petaflops.




User Comments: 29

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GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

But can it play Crysis on Max settings.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Do they play Crysis in China?

1 person liked this | H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The computational power required in order to fully simulate Minesweeper and Battleships is through the roof. Or they are going to run a huge multi-boxing WoW accounts to sell them golds to the western world!

domyz said:

But can it play Crysis on Max settings.

Barely I think

1 person liked this | MilwaukeeMike said:

The computational power required in order to fully simulate Minesweeper and Battleships is through the roof. Or they are going to run a huge multi-boxing WoW accounts to sell them golds to the western world!

Yeah, it'll be a great cover while they hack into US govt and corporate servers.

3 people like this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

If we'd stop shopping at Walmart, they wouldn't have the funding to scoff at us like this.

I mean really, "my petaflopper is bigger than your petaflopper", how childish is that?

JC713 JC713 said:

If we'd stop shopping at Walmart, they wouldn't have the funding to scoff at us like this.

I mean really, "my petaflopper is bigger than your petaflopper", how childish is that?

LOL

2 people like this | Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I bet that thing can farm a lot of WoW gold.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

I bet that thing can farm a lot of WoW gold.

Why would you need a PC to do that when there are plenty of lazy human scumbag low-lives willing to do it for next to nothing? :P

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

What else can the Chinese use it for apart from running Linpack... Calculate their electricity expenditure? Of which that thing guzzles half of what the rest of the nation uses.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

What else can the Chinese use it for apart from running Linpack...
When you find out why anyone would need one, you will have your answer. Just because its within their borders, does not mean all uses will be localized. Globally used servers have to be placed somewhere.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I bet that thing can farm a lot of WoW gold.

Why would you need a PC to do that when there are plenty of lazy human scumbag low-lives willing to do it for next to nothing? :P

Specially in them Chinese/Korean prisons where your compulsory day to day routines are just that, play games and farm then pixel golds!!!

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

When you find out why anyone would need one, you will have your answer. Just because its within their borders, does not mean all uses will be localized. Globally used servers have to be placed somewhere.

Yeah you're right. Now I have my answer.

Sunny87 said:

Why don't we just combine all the supercomputing power we have into one great big giant super computing power house, surely this would solve many conundrums of the universe, imagine how many petaflops that would be!

Oh wait that would be working together and thats not possible because the US and China constantly love showing off how big their e penises are to each other.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If we'd stop shopping at Walmart, they wouldn't have the funding to scoff at us like this.

I mean really, "my petaflopper is bigger than your petaflopper", how childish is that?

(On a more serious note) Unfortunately, it will also mean, they will not have funds to finance US debt, since they'll see no value in holding trillions $$$$$$ in reserves, hence, it will lead to a huge crash in $ value, which will in turn mean, other nations will not see much value in holding their reserves in $$$ ....... so I guess its a no go from the start.

However, I whole heartedly agree with your second assertion

Leeky Leeky said:

That really isn't willy waving at the US.

It took the Chinese to build a supercomputer with roughly 6-times more CPU's running at the same clock speed (3,120,000 cores 2.20GHz Xeon E5-2692 vs Titan's 560,640 cores of AMD Operton 6274's @ 2.20GHz), consuming over twice the power envelope (17,808KW vs Titan's 8,209KW) to produce a score using Linpack that's basically providing an increase of 16.27 petaflops-per-second over the Titan's impressive 17.59 petaflops score. So it costs an absolute bomb (since when are Xeon E5's cheap?) and consumes the electricity of an entire developing nation to function.

Two things are very clear: First, we give China far too much bloody money and secondly, jesus that's 260,000 Xeon E5-2692's!! Guess it'll make for a nice password crunching machine to grab more secret US technologies though.

Guest said:

Those core numbers are not even remotely accurate. The number for Tianhe-2 includes both the Xeons and the Xeon Phi coprosessors.

The number for Titan includes Opteron cores and Nvidia SMXs in the Teslas(had they counted Cuda 'cores' you would get 50 million 'cores' just there). Core count for these systems are meaningless anyway due to the radically different architectures of the coprosessors and inconsistent way of counting cores(SMX/CU versus cuda/shader cores).

The computational power mainly comes from the coprosessors, the CPUs handle communication.

Had it actually been av case where you pitted 3 million Ivy Bridge cores against 0.5 million Piledriver cores, you would need to be the worlds worst system architect to only get twice the performance and similar perf/watt...

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Thats the subject for a different topic I was referring to. It's not completely irrelevant but we might as well start talking about all the server specs while we add RAM.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

All this in lieu of the simple, "I don't know", that would more than suffice?

"How the **** should I know"? Works every time...

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:
  • Whats their storage capacity?
  • Are they using SSD's or HDD's?
  • How often do they service drive failures?
  • Whats the size of the building?
  • Are they using special cooling methods?
  • How large is personnel for maintenance?
  • It would be nice to know if they completed construction in record time.
  • What was the total cost of the project from ground up?

Since we are adding RAM to the list of questions, here is my short list of questions. All these questions are off-topic from total computational power. As much as I would like to know, they are subjects for a different topic.

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Well, no they aren't questions for a different day or topic. It could be argued that since we weren't provided with at least some specs of our best supercomputer, and also the same specs from the Chinese computer that beat it, the article was incomplete.

Really, if it raises more questions than it answers, draw your own conclusion..

I simply don't care. But then I'm 65, so I spend much of the day preoccupied with dreadful thoughts about my own mortality, and how stupid and unnecessary it is to own a "smart phone". I care even less about how much RAM or CPU speed is in those abominations.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Well, no they aren't questions for a different day or topic. It could be argued that since we weren't provided with the specs of our best supercomputer, and also the specs of the Chinese computer that beat it, the article was incomplete.
You see thats where you are wrong, the topic is not about the super-computer itself. The topic is a specific aspect of the super computer.

Thats fine and dandy though, because I'm not fueling your desires for this off-topic discussion any further.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

You see thats where you are wrong, the topic is not about the super-computer itself. The topic is a specific aspect of the super computer.

Thats fine and dandy though, because I'm not fueling your desires for this off-topic discussion any further.

It's your ball and you're taking it home now. I know the drill. Your petulance is only cute to a point, and you're the one that believes it is the most.

"I'm going to stop now, because I'm right and you're wrong". That's how that songs goes isn't it?

GeforcerFX GeforcerFX said:

I don't get the point of caring who has the fastest single computer system, but just quickly counting through the top 50 on the 500 site China has 4 super computers, while the united states has 16. Who do you think is getting more done the country with 4 high end computers systems or the country with 16. Also just within the top ten the united states have 5 systems listed, half of the worlds 10 fastest computer systems are in the united states. Another interesting little number crunch is there computer uses 17 megawatts, our top 3 use 18.5 mega watts, talk about efficiency. Also those 3 systems using only 1 mega watt more have a combined processing power of 45 petaflops, so 1mw more of power usage but 12 more Petaflops. Also looking at some of the systems the USA have in planning this title prob won't stay with the Chinese for long.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I don't get the point of caring who has the fastest single computer system, but just quickly counting through the top 50 on the 500 site China has 4 super computers, while the united states has 16. Who do you think is getting more done the country with 4 high end computers systems or the country with 16. Also just within the top ten the united states have 5 systems listed, half of the worlds 10 fastest computer systems are in the united states. Another interesting little number crunch is there computer uses 17 megawatts, our top 3 use 18.5 mega watts, talk about efficiency. Also those 3 systems using only 1 mega watt more have a combined processing power of 45 petaflops, so 1mw more of power usage but 12 more Petaflops. Also looking at some of the systems the USA have in planning this title prob won't stay with the Chinese for long.
This is great stuff. I almost don't know where to start lampooning it.. Let's try a country song....

"I got a nineteen megawatt petaflopper waitin' for ya,

So if you know what's good for ya darlin',

Yo best be gittin' on home"

We's gonna stay up late

We's gonna calculate

We's gonna procreate

So honey don't be late

I'll petaflop ya silly

Give you a big wet willy

Then calculate some more

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Two things are very clear: First, we give China far too much bloody money and secondly, jesus that's 260,000 Xeon E5-2692's!!

To add insult to injury, [link] . The Chinese HPC guys seem to take NDA's and launch dates as seriously as their beta testers/forum members.

The performance-per-watt would suffer (overall) because the Xeon Phi math co-processors aren't as efficient (in raw algebra figures) as the Nvidia Tesla K20X's of Titan, even though the Intel CPU's will be a lot more frugal on power than the Opteron's.

GeforcerFX GeforcerFX said:

This is great stuff. I almost don't know where to start lampooning it.. Let's try a country song....

"I got a nineteen megawatt petaflopper waitin' for ya,

So if you know what's good for ya darlin',

Yo best be gittin' on home"

We's gonna stay up late

We's gonna calculate

We's gonna procreate

So honey don't be late

I'll petaflop ya silly

Give you a big wet willy

Then calculate some more

not bad but I hate country music, so try a different genre plz.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

not bad but I hate country music, so try a different genre plz.
Thats easy!! Change the tune and tempo.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I know this is off-topic, but why would I be redirected to another website when clicking Reply? This has happen two or three times, it has to be more than coincidence. The first time, I figured it was I that had clicked the wrong location.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Thats easy!! Change the tune and tempo.
That lyric line work probably work in ragtime. But then, there's no accommodating all tastes, and personally I love country. It's probably an old fart thing.

I know this is off-topic, but why would I be redirected to another website when clicking Reply? This has happen two or three times, it has to be more than coincidence. The first time, I figured it was I that had clicked the wrong location.
You, off topic? Don't be silly. Still in all, every time I report some supernatural occurrence in this vein, I'm told, "your browser is trolling you". So...?

Even further off topic, (and I have no idea why I simply don't become quite petulant at this point), this does beg the question, "what website, is it the same one every time?

The biggest cause of redirects is usually malware. No sayin' that's the case here. But still, it isn't impossible. I can say nothing like this is happening with me, and I quote ("reply" , with almost every post, just for continuity of thought.

The only site I almost constantly get redirected from is, of all places, Newegg! And that's because, their site crashes periodically from, (I believe) excess traffic. Even there, I get Newegg China. Everything revolves around China these days, even the browser errors.

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