China main­tains reign over world su­per­com­puter rank­ings: Sur­vey

Kuwait Times - - Technology -

BEIJING: China now has more high­per­for­mance su­per­com­put­ers than ever be­fore, again best­ing the United States in global rank­ings, a su­per­com­puter track­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion said.

The stand­ing cor­re­sponds with China’s grow­ing rep­u­ta­tion as the global leader in su­per­com­put­ers, as the Asian power pre­pares to launch in June 2018 a pro­to­type ex­as­cale com­put­ing ma­chine-a “su­per su­per­com­puter”. Some 202 of the world’s fastest su­per­com­put­ers are in Chi­na­com­pared with 143 in the US-ac­cord­ing to Top500, a site that has tracked su­per­com­puter devel­op­ment for more than two decades.

The list, pro­duced twice a year, rates su­per­com­put­ers based on speed in a bench­mark test by ex­perts from Ger­many and the US. “It is the largest num­ber of su­per­com­put­ers China has ever claimed on the Top500 rank­ing,” the sur­vey said on Mon­day, “with the US pres­ence shrink­ing to its low­est level since the list’s in­cep­tion.” Su­per­com­put­ers are vi­tal tools for ad­vanced sci­en­tific work be­cause of their abil­ity to per­form rapid cal­cu­la­tions for ev­ery­thing from weather fore­casts to mis­sile devel­op­ment.

China has not only over­taken the US in sheer num­bers, but also in ag­gre­gate per­for­mance. Two of the fastest ma­chines on the list-the Sun­way Tai­huLight and Tianhe-2 (Milky­way-2) — are in China. Lo­cated at China’s national su­per­com­puter cen­tre in the east­ern city of Wuxi, the Sun­way Tai­huLight is used for cli­mate mod­el­ling and life sci­ence re­search.

Tak­ing the third and fourth slots on the per­for­mance list are su­per­com­put­ers from Switzer­land and Ja­pan, re­spec­tively, while the Amer­i­can “Ti­tan” sits at fifth. The US led with 169 sys­tems to China’s 160 just six months ago, but its per­for­mance fell while China’s im­proved in a “re­ver­sal of for­tunes”, the sur­vey said. How­ever, it re­mained well ahead of third-place Ja­pan, which has 35 ma­chines on the list. —AFP

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