Yesterday it was announced at a conference in Lepzig, Germany that China now has the world’s fastest supercomputer. It has comfortably snatched the number one spot from an American built one.
The world’s fastest supercomputer (named the Tianhe-2) was developed by the Chinese University for Defense Technology. The Tianhe-2 (which translates in English to “Milky Way-2”) reached an incredible 33.86 petaflops (or 1000 trillion calculations) per second in a survey of the world’s top 500 supercomputers. The top 500 list is produced twice a year and is based on the performance speed in a benchmark test by experts from the US and Germany. As usual, the list was dominated by the US (who has 252 computers on the list).
The Tianhe-2 thoroughly outperformed the US built supercomputer (the Titan) which previously held the number one spot. The Tianhe-2 has twice the power and more than five times the processing cores of its American rival. The Titan only managed to reach 17.59 petaflops a second in the same survey. Positions on the top 10 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers are now held by five computers in the US, two computers in China, two computers in Germany and one computer in Japan.
All of the Tianhe-2’s parts were made in China, apart from its 80,000 Xeon processors (which were made by US computer giant Intel). The Tianhe-2 has 1 petabyte of memory (12,500 times the memory of your average personal computer) and uses 17.8 megawatts of power to run. The project is one of three supercomputer projects funded by the Chinese government. The Tianhe-2 reached the number one spot on the list two years earlier than expected.
The honor awarded to the Tianhe-2 marks the return of China to the top spot on the list of world’s fastest supercomputers. Its predecessor, the Tianhe-1 (which reached 2.56 petaflops) was awarded the same honor back in November 2010. To put things into perspective: the Tianhe-2 is fifteen times faster than the Tianhe-1 – it just gives you an idea of how far technology has come in the past two and a half years.
If you need to save up to buy or develop one of these babies, feel free to place your free adverts for your unwanted items on Junk Mail. You may need to sell your house, car and everything else you own to cover the costs though.
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