China tops lat­est su­per­com­puter list

At least 3 US sys­tems could over­take China’s by end of 2018: ex­pert

Global Times - - Front Page - By Deng Xiaoci

China and the US will likely con­tinue to com­pete for the fastest su­per­com­puter ti­tle from 2018 to 2020 and Chi­nese ones will main­tain their nu­meric ad­van­tage over their US coun­ter­parts among the top 500, Chi­nese ex­perts said.

The lat­est is­sue of the World’s Top 500 fastest su­per­com­put­ers shows the num­ber of Chi­nese su­per­com­put­ers is the most in its his­tory, while the num­ber of US su­per­com­put­ers is the low­est since the list was first pub­lished 25 years ago, ac­cord­ing to the Top 500 news team’s web­site.

The bian­nual rank­ing of the world’s 500 fastest su­per­com­put­ers pub­lished Mon­day shows China’s Sun­way Tai­huLight suc­cess­fully de­fend­ing its ti­tle as the top sys­tem for the fourth time, with a per­for­mance of 93.01 petaflops, fol­lowed by China’s Tianhe-2.

The Sun­way Tai­huLight is based at the Na­tional Su­per­com­put­ing Cen­ter in Wuxi, East China’s Jiangsu Prov­ince.

Wang Qiong, di­rec­tor of the cen­ter’s pro­mo­tion and train­ing depart­ment, told the Global Times on Tues­day in a state­ment that the world’s fastest su­per­com­puter, which has in­stalled a va­ri­ety of com­mer­cial soft­ware, fo­cuses on weather and cli­mate, as­tron­omy and new en­ergy and pro­vides com­put­ing and en­gi­neer­ing ser­vices such as big-data pro­cess­ing and cloud com­put­ing.

Wang added that the Sun­way Tai­huLight is the world’s first su­per­com­puter with a peak per­for­mance of over 100 petaflops.

The In­tel chip-based Tianhe-2 had topped the list for three years un­til be­ing dis­placed in Novem­ber 2015 by Tai­huLight, which was built us­ing pro­ces­sors de­signed and made in China, ac­cord­ing to the Top 500 web­site.

The 50th is­sue of the rank­ing also shows that China has over­taken the US in the to­tal num­ber of ranked sys­tems by a mar­gin of 202 to 143. Just six months ago, the US led China, 169 to 160.

“It is the largest num­ber of su­per­com­put­ers China has ever claimed on the Top 500 rank­ing, with US pres­ence shrink­ing to its low­est level since the list’s in­cep­tion 25 years ago,” Top 500 said.

China is like­wise ahead of the US in terms of ag­gre­gate per­for­mance. China now claims 35.4 per­cent of the Top 500 flops, with the US in sec­ond at 29.6 per­cent.

An­a­lysts said that there will be a lead­er­ship race be­tween China and the US from 2018 to 2020. And US su­per­com­put­ers will likely move on top while China will main­tain its nu­meric ad­van­tage.

Zhang Yun­quan, sec­re­tary gen­eral of the High Per­for­mance Com­put­ing Com­mit­tee of the China Com­puter Fed­er­a­tion, told the Global Times that Tai­huLight is likely to re­claim the ti­tle by the first half of next year, but it will be over­taken by US ones by the end of 2018, as there will be at least three from the US which will per­form faster than 150 petaflops, or even 200 petaflops.

Zhang said there is no plan to up­date the Tai­huLight per­for­mance just yet, so the US su­per­com­put­ers are likely to re­turn to the top by the sec­ond half of 2018.

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