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Here's why the Sunway TaihuLight is the world's fastest supercomputer

News Agencies | First published: 17 November 2016, 13:04 IST
Here's why the Sunway TaihuLight is the world's fastest supercomputer
Here's why the Sunway TaihuLight is the world's fastest supercomputer

For the eight consecutive year, China has retained the top spot in the list of the world's fastest supercomputers for its 'Sunway TaihuLight' which can perform 93 million billion calculations per second, media reports said.

TaihuLight, the massive supercomputer, built entirely using processors designed and made in China has been crowned as the world's fastest, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted the latest edition of the semiannual Top 500 list of supercomputers released .

TaihuLight made its appearance in June, replacing the former champion, Tianhe-2, also a Chinese system but built based on Intel chips. TaihuLight is capable of performing 93 million billion calculations per second (petaflop/s). That is almost three times as fast as Tianhe-2, which had claimed No 1 spot in the Top500 list for the past three years.

That means a Chinese supercomputer has topped the rankings for eight times in a row, indicating the rise of China in the high performance computing (HPC) field, the report said. In the previous list released in June, China overtook the US in the number of total supercomputers installed. That was the first time that the US has not dominated this category since the list was started 23 years ago. This time, the number of systems installed in China increased to 171 from 168 on the last list.

"The 48th edition of the Top500 list saw China and the US pacing each other for supercomputing supremacy," Top500 editors said in a statement released at an HPC conference in Salt Lake City. In addition, China and the US are "neck-and-neck in the performance category" with the latter holding 33.9 percent of the overall installed performance while the former is second with 33.3 percent of the overall installed performance, said the statement.

In the latest rankings, Titan and Sequoia, two systems from the US, remained No 3 and No 4 positions. The Cori supercomputer, a new system installed at the US Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, slipped into the fifth slot with a performance of 14.0 petaflop/s, the report said.

When it comes to companies making these systems, the America-based Hewlett-Packard Enterprise has the lead with 112 supercomputers, which is followed by China's Lenovo with 92 systems. There are three other Chinese companies in the vendor list: Sugon (No 4 with 47 systems), Inspur (No 8 with 18 systems) and Huawei (No 9 with 16 systems). The Top 500 list is considered one of the most authoritative rankings of the world's supercomputers.

 
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