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China Trounces ­.s. in Top500 Supercomputer Race

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Tianhe-2 supercomputer

China's Tianhe-2 supercomputer uses Intel processors, but its interconnect, operating system, front-end processors, and software are mainly Chinese.

Credit: Next Big Future

China's Tianhe-2 supercomputer has overtaken the U.S.'s Titan system as the world's most powerful computer, according to the latest Top500 List, a twice-yearly ranking of the world's fastest publicly known supercomputers. Tianhe-2 was able to execute 33.86 petaflops, compared to Titan's 17.59 petaflops. China's National University of Defense Technology built Tianhe-2 with 16,000 nodes, each of which runs two Intel Xeon IvyBridge processors and three Xeon Phy processors, for a combined total of 3.12 million computing cores. The system should be fully operational by the end of the year.

Still, the United States remains a dominant presence on the list, with 253 of the 500 systems. China ranks second with 65 systems, followed by the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.

Tianhe-2 also is notable for its use of Chinese-developed technologies. "Most of the features of the system were developed in China, and they are only using Intel for the main compute part," notes Top500 editor Jack Dongarra. "The interconnect, operating system, front-end processors, and software are mainly Chinese."

From IDG News Service
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