China has built the world's fastest supercomputer, stealing the crown from the United States, according to the New York Times. The National University of Defense Technology's Tianhe-1A PC has 14,336 processors from Intel and over 7,168 M2050 graphics cards from Nvidia ($2,500 each). This gives it a horsepower equivalent of 175,000 laptop computers, according to Nvidia. China says the Tianhe-1A, which is under supervision from the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Education, will be used by scientists across several fields and will also be made available to other countries.
The supercomputer race is extremely competitive and is a source of national pride. China's 2.507 petaflop supercomputer, which is 30 percent faster than the world's second most powerful supercomputer, was built by the National University of Defense Technology using the government's money and is now located at the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin. America's fastest supercomputer is in Tennessee, where it's been since 2004 when the US grabbed first place back from Japan. The ranking is based on a standard test used to gauge how well the systems handle mathematical calculations. Out of the top 10, seven of the world's most powerful computers are in the US, two are in China, and one is in Germany.