A new Chinese computer system that can make 93 quadrillions calculations per second, was on Monday named the world’s most powerful supercomputer.
The supercomputer, called Sunway-TaihuLight, developed by the National Research Centre of Parallel Computer Engineering and Technology (NRCPC), is built entirely using processors designed and made in China, state-media reported.
Sunway TaihuLight topped the list of the Top 500 supercomputers with 93 quadrillion calculations per second, according to the newest edition of the list which was announced at the 2016 International Supercomputing Conference in Germany.
With a processing capacity of 125.436 petaflops (PFlops) per second, which means it can perform quadrillions of calculations per second at peak performance, Sunway-TaihuLight is the first supercomputer to achieve speeds in excess of 100 PFlops.
The computing power of the supercomputer is provided by a China-developed many-core CPU chip, which is just 25 square cm.
The supercomputer installed at the National Supercomputing Centre in China displaced Tianhe-2, an Intel-based Chinese supercomputer that has claimed the top 1 spot on the past six TOP500 lists.
The closely watched list is issued twice a year.
Sunway TaihuLight is twice as fast and three times as efficient as Tianhe-2, which posted a performance of 33.86 quadrillions of calculations per second.
The system will be used for various research and engineering work, in areas such as climate, weather & earth systems modelling, life science research, advanced manufacturing, and data analytics
Titan, a Cray X40 system installed at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is now at the third position, with 17.59 quadrillions of calculations per second.
Sequoia, an IBM BlueGene/Q system installed at DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Fujitsu’s K computer installed at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS) in Japan are at the fourth and fifth positions respectively.
Other systems in the top ten include a BlueGene/Q system called Mira in the US, a Cray X40 system known as Trinity, and the most powerful system in Europe - a Cray XC30 system called Piz Daint at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre.
Hazel Hen installed at HLRS in Germany and Shaheen II in King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia, both Cray XC40 systems, are at the ninth and tenth positions.
The latest list marks the first time since the inception of the TOP500 that the US is not home to the largest number of systems.
With a surge in industrial and research installations registered over the last few years, China leads with 167 systems and the US is second with 165. China also leads the performance category.