China Claims Supercomputing Crown

This is so ironic in so many ways … About 20 years ago, I used to work for an international company that made PC based test systems. At that time, it was illegal for the company to sell their product in China, because PCs were considered to be “restricted technology” way back then. In retrospect, I think we probably should have stuck with that plan …

This is a title that bounces back and forwards between countries, but now China has claimed the top spot for the world’s fastest and most powerful supercomputer.

The title has gone to the country’s Tianhe-1A supercomputer according to a report by the BBC, that is capable of more than 2.5 thousand trillion calculations a second.  It contains a massive 7,000 graphics processors and 14,000 Intel chips.

The computer, known as Milky Way, has taken the top spot from the US-based XT5 Jaguar in Tennessee which is capable of 1.75 petaflops per second, equivalent to 1,000 trillion calculations per second.  The new winner now stands some way out in front.

Milky Way is a reported 47% faster than the XT5 and does this by uniting its thousands of Intel chips with graphics processors made by rival firm Nvidia.

The supercomputer, based in the Chinese city of Tianjin,  houses its vast array of processors in more than 100 fridge-sized cabinets and weighs in at over 155 tonnes.

© Mike Halsey for gHacks Technology News, 2010. | Permalink | Add to, digg, facebook, reddit, twitter
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