China overtakes the USA in race for supercomputer dominance

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Until six months ago, the USA led with 169 systems to China's 160; the number of listings by US has now dropped to 143, putting it in second place. Just six months ago, the U.S. led with 169 systems, with China slightly trailing with 160. In fact, the drop is so severe that the US Department of Energy to doll out $258 million in grants to several tech companies to develop exascale systems, the next great leap in HPC.

The Top 500 List hasn't changed much since the first 2017 version was released in June.

A "petaflop" is one thousand trillion "flops".


Another Chinese supercomputer called Tianhe-2, or Milky Way-2, has once again occupied the number two position with 33.86 petaflops.

Japan comes in third with 35 supercomputers, and Germany fourth with 20. Built by ExaScaker around 1,250 Intel Xeon 16-core processors with an Infiniband EDR interconnect, Gyoukou derives most of its computing power from the 19,840,000 cores in its Pezy-SC2 accelerators.

Titan has maintained a constant score of 17.6 petaflops since it was installed at the US Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2012. The highest climber in the latest Top500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers is also one of the highest scorers on the Green500 ranking of the world's most efficient.


The rise of Gyoukou in the Top500 bumped the US systems Titan (built by Cray) and Sequoia (IBM) down a place, while seventh place was snatched by another Cray system, Trinity, which has recently been upgraded from 8.10 petaflops to 14.14 petaflops.

Meanwhile, some experts have also said that China's overtaking of the USA in the total number of ranked supercomputers didn't make much sense as the latter's technologies still dominate the high-performance computing (HPC) market. Japan also has two additional systems within the top ten. Now the country has seized another victory from the U.S.by having the largest number of supercomputers in the TOP500 ranking - on the other hand, the U.S.' presence is the lowest that it has been since the list got started 25 years ago.


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