China's Tianhe-2 remains world's most powerful supercomputer for the sixth consecutive time

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In the biannual Top500 list of supercomputers that was released recently China's Tianhe-2 supercomputer has retained its position as the world's most powerful system for the sixth consecutive time.

Developed by China's National University of Defense Technology and deployed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou, Tianhe-2, or Milky Way 2, has a performance of 33.86 petaflops per second (Pflop/s). It has held the title as the most powerful computer since June 2013.

Supercomputer Titan of the US Department of Energy has been placed at second position. It has a performance of 17.59  petaflops per second (Pflop/s). The Chinese system is almost twice as fast as Titan (US SUPERCOMPUTER)

China has almost tripled its number of supercomputers, it has 109 high-performance computing systems on the biannual Top500 list of supercomputers, up 196% from 37 just six months ago.

US has seen the number of its supercomputers decline.US has 200 machines in the rankings, which is the largest number from a single country. But, that total number has fallen to the lowest level since computer scientists started compiling the list 22 years ago.

World's fastest supercomputer "Tianhe-2" 

Tianhe-2 was created by China's National University of Defense Technology and is being used at a supercomputer centre in the southern coastal city of Guangzhou. It is capable of performing 33.86 quadrillion calculations in one second, which is almost twice the speed of the second most powerful supercomputer on the list - the US energy department's Titan.

Application of  Supercomputers :-

Supercomputers are developed to perform complex simulations or applications to help scientific research in a wide range of industries such as predicting weather forecasts to making drug discoveries and DNA sequencing.

Leading companies manufacturing top 500 supercomputers:-

  • Chinese companies are leading as manufacturers of supercomputers. Chinese firm Sugon overtook IBM in the systems category with 49, while IBM ranks fourth with 45 systems. US tech giant Hewlett-Packard is at the top of the list with 156 supercomputer systems.

Why is China emerging as supercomputer leader ?

  • During 80s and 90s, when China just started off appearing on the centre stage of the global economy it was mainly a manufacturing hub. All the IP (intellectual property) or design work was happening in Europe or the US and the companies were just sending manufacturing or production jobs to China.
  • Now those companies have became bigger, they want to invest in technical research capabilities, so that they can create a lot more innovation and do basic design and engineering work.The Chinese government and companies want to become the creators and not just producer of products that are being designed elsewhere.


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