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China takes the supercomputing crown from America

A Chinese supercomputer has claimed the top spot in the list of world’s fastest supercomputers. It has outperformed an American system, achieving double the performance.

The Tianhe-2 (Milky Way 2) was developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology and now holds the title of world’s most powerful computer according to this TOP 500 list.

The American system now knocked into second position was called ‘Titan’, a Cray XK7 system which has been installed in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

China's Milky Way 2 supercomputer
China’s Milky Way 2 supercomputer – it won’t fit into your bedroom.

The Milky Way 2 scored 33.86 petaflops on the Linpack benchmark, compared to the 17.59 score achieved by the Titan.

The designs of both systems are very different. The Milky Way 2 has 16,000 nodes, each of which have two Intel Xeon Ivybridge processors and three Xeon Phi processors, for a combined total of 3,120,000 computing cores.

The Titan relies on 261,632 NVIDIA Tesla K20x GPU accelerator cores. It is one of the most efficient systems on the list, delivering 2,143 mflops per watt.

Third place on the list goes to the Sequoia system, an IBM BlueGene/Q system installed at DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. It has dropped from the second place spot. This system was built in 2011 and scored 17.17 petaflops in the LinPack benchmark, using 1,572,864 cores.

Kitguru says: No more ‘but can it play Crysis?’ jokes, please.

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