The most powerful supercomputer in the world announced on Monday at the International Supercomputer Conference in Germany. Based on the published Top 500 rankings, China has surpassed itself, leading the way as it had for several years now.
The number one ranked computing machine in the world this year is called the Sunway TaihuLight. For the past years, China held this top spot with its Tianhe-2 supercomputer. The latter has now slipped to second place, followed by the United States’ Titan supercomputer.
The TaihuLight at the National Supercomputing Centre in Wuxi, Jiangsu is capable of quadrillion calculation per second at its peak. This is three times stronger than the Tianghe-2 and five times compared to the Titan of the U.S.
This title is significant for China since it is the first time that they have topped the list using fully domestically produced chips. For the past three years, the Chinese-made supercomputer Tianghe-2 used US chips. Last year, the US government prevented Intel from sending faster chips for national security reasons.
China has made significant strides in developing supercomputers over the past decade with the support of private firms, such as Alibaba and Baidu. It only used to have twenty-eight systems in the list, all of which did not even earn a place among the top 30. But for the first time in the history of supercomputers, China has more systems (167) in the list compared to the United States (165).
The US government has been criticized for its lack of funding in supercomputer development. However, in another report by South China Morning Post, it is said that the US still has the most powerful machine that is designed for military purposes. It says publications like Top 500 are not able to have access and assess this technology due to its confidentiality.
Supercomputers are used for advanced engineering and scientific research, quantum mechanics, physical simulations, climate studies and analytics.
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