Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Chinese Supercomputer Ranked World’s Second-Fastest

A Chinese supercomputer has been ranked the second fastest in the world. In the previous ranking the top Chinese supercomputer was ranked fifth. The United States remains on top with the world's fasted supercomputer and has increased in the number of top 500 (up 5 to 282). There seems an important caveat here; that these rankings only involve public computers where there is approval to be tested. It would not surprise me if the American government has a classified machine that is much faster than the one ranked number one.


"The Dawning Nebulae, based at the National Supercomputing Center in Shenzhen, China, has achieved a sustained computing speed of 1.27 petaflops — the equivalent of one thousand trillion mathematical operations a second — in the latest semiannual ranking of the world’s fastest 500 computers.

The newest ranking was made public on Monday at the International Supercomputer Conference in Hamburg, Germany. Supercomputers are used for scientific and engineering problems as diverse as climate simulation and automotive design.

The Chinese machine is actually now ranked as the world’s fastest in terms of theoretical peak performance, but that is considered a less significant measure than the actual computing speed achieved on a standardized computing test.

The world’s fastest computer remains the Cray Jaguar supercomputer, based at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Last November it was measured at 1.75 petaflops.

In the previous year’s ranking, the Chinese had the fifth-fastest computer, a system that was based at a National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin, China. That machine has now dropped to seventh place.

The United States continues to be the dominant maker of supercomputers, and is the nation with the most machines in the top 500. The United States has 282 of the world’s fastest 500 computers on the new list, an increase from 277 when the rankings were compiled in November.

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