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China wins fastest supercomputer crown for 4th time


Beijing, Nov 18 (PTI) For the fourth consecutive year, China has retained the top spot in the list of the world’s fastest supercomputers for its Tianhe-2, according to a biannual Top500 list released today.

The list, which was released yesterday in Washington, conferred the top slot to the Chinese supercomputer, official media here reported.

Tianhe-2, which means “Milky Way-2″ in Chinese, was developed by China’s National University of Defence Technology. It can operate at 33.86 petaflops per second (Pflop/s), the equivalent of 33,860 quadrillion calculations per second.

The National Supercomputer Centre in Guangzhou in south China, where Tianhe-2 is installed, is reportedly making an update to increase the system’s speed to more than 100 Pflop/s.

The win for the Chinese computer came at a time when the US is renewing efforts to build a faster one to overtake it.

The updated list came close on the heels of an announcement last week by the US that it will spend USD 325 million on building two supercomputers, which will be three to five times faster than Tianhe-2.

Jack Dongarra, professor of the University of Tennessee and Top500 editor said that “the (US) systems will be operational in 2018. It’s just a coincidence.”

“And before that, there will be no machine that can dethrone the Chinese supercomputer,” Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.

Super computer Titan, installed at the DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, remains the No. 2 system with a performance of 17.59 Pflop/s.

The No. 3 spot was acquired by Sequoia, installed at the DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Japan’s K computer was also inducted in the top five.

The only new entry was at No. 10, a 3.57 Pflop/s Cray Storm system installed at an undisclosed US government site.

“These machines in the top10 are very expensive and provide extreme computing power,” Dongarra said.

“Perhaps we have enough computing power for the moment and not enough funding for the next generation just now,” Dongarra said adding that the interest and need by science for these systems and more powerful systems will not end.

In terms of overall systems, the US remains the top country with 231 supercomputers, followed by China, Japan, Britain, France, and Germany.

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