China nearly triples number of supercomputers, still possesses the fastest machine in the world

By midian182 · 9 replies
Nov 17, 2015
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  1. The latest Top 500 supercomputer rankings were released yesterday, and China’s Tianhe-2 has retained the title of the fastest computer system in the world for the sixth consecutive time.

    The country has almost tripled the number of supercomputers it has on the list to 109, up from 37 just six months ago. And while the US still has the most supercomputers on the list from a single country, 201, it’s the lowest number since the Top 500 was created in 1993.

    Tianhe-2, which was created by China's National University of Defense Technology, has 3,120,000 cores and is capable of 33.86 quadrillion floating point operations, or flops, in a single second. This makes it almost twice as fast as the second most powerful supercomputer on the list – the US energy department’s Titan Cray XK7, which was recorded at 17.59 petaflops on the Linpack benchmark.

    An American system also takes up the number three position – IBM’s Sequoia, which was constructed for the National Nuclear Security Administration and is running at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. In 2012, Sequoia took the title of the world’s fastest supercomputer but has since been outpaced by Tianhe-2 and Titan Cray XK7.

    The only two new entries in the top ten are Trinity at number 6, a system from the US department of energy, and Hazel Hen at number 8, a machine from Germany.

    Rajnish Arora, vice president of enterprise computing at market research firm IDC Asia Pacific, told the BBC that China’s rise doesn’t so much indicate that the US is under-investing in supercomputers, rather it is more to do with the evolution of China’s economy and business.

    "When China started off appearing on the centre stage of the global economy in the 80s and 90s, it was predominately a manufacturing hub," he said. "All the IP or design work would happen in Europe or the US and the companies would just send manufacturing or production jobs to China. Now as these companies become bigger, they want to invest in technical research capabilities, so that they can create a lot more innovation and do basic design and engineering work."

    It’s worth pointing out that although many of the supercomputers on the list are based in regions around the world, most contain American-made technology from companies such as Intel, AMD and Nvidia. Even Tianhe-2 is packed with Intel’s chips, and the California-based company supplied components for 445 of the machines in the Top 500.

    Tianhe-2 may not hold onto the ‘fastest supercomputer’ title for many more years; the US Department of Energy’s Summit system is scheduled to come online sometime in 2017 and will supposedly be about nine times faster than China’s machine, running at about 309 petaflops. And it was reported back in July that President Obama had authorized the creation of the first ever exascale computer. There was no timescale provided as to when it may be completed, but the machine will theoretically be able to perform one quintillion (a billion billion) calculations per second, or 1000 petaflops, which is believed to be the order of processing power of the human brain at neural level.

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  2. Monte Gardiner

    Monte Gardiner TS Rookie

    Just bought one of those, well, supercomputers are pretty cool now a days. My room is a server closet.
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,664   +1,949

    Black Friday discount?
    bmw95 likes this.
  4. What are these used for, decrypting passwords? :D
  5. sam kriss

    sam kriss TS Rookie

    Supercomputing will win the next war. It is central too much that is vital in 21st century warfare. Looks like a PLA war gaming strategic command supercomputer is on schedule. As in Alderic Au’s “Aztlan Protocol”, the Tianhe-25-M, capable of seven yottaflops, proves to be a war winner.
  6. OortCloud

    OortCloud TS Addict Posts: 172   +55

    Keeping 1.35 billion people towing the communist party line requires a really big brother...
  7. Radical

    Radical TS Enthusiast Posts: 52   +34

  8. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96


    I've a feeling that this same objective is achieved through different means in the developed world, where, hardly anyone questions real motives and aims of their governments in planning, executing, and hyping up conflicts in the other parts of the worlds. So, realistically everyone is after the same goal but in their own different way.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,980   +2,527

    I don't know as a government owned super-supercomputer is even close to necessary to keep Americans toeing the line. All you really have to do is hand them a smart phone and let them go play in traffic.

    Of course for the hard cases, there's always a cocktail of video games, hip hop "music", internet porn, and any streaming service.

    For difficult to herd old school types, you just give them any job where they only have to work 3 hours of an 8 hour day, without getting their hands dirty.

    Once reefer in legal in all 50 states, everybody can go outside and watch Amazon's drones fly around. The remaining two dozen or so sober individuals will then begin to make up pejorative, class-ist jokes about the stoner set. IE, "What's the stoner word for quadracopter"? Oh, that's easy. You just point at it.........(dramatic pause)........and say, "DUH"...:oops:
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
    Archean likes this.
  10. Monte Gardiner

    Monte Gardiner TS Rookie

    I use mine to mine bitcoins, because really, right now, there isn't much I can do with it.

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