Chinese System Takes No. 1 Spot In Worldwide Supercomputer Ranking

A supercomputer running in China's National Supercomputer Center has taken over the top spot in a closely watched ranking of the world's most powerful supercomputers.

China now operates 42 of the Top 500 supercomputers in the world, confirming the rise of China in the supercomputing realm and putting them second only to the U.S., according to the ranking. Another Chinese system, which had been ranked No. 2, is the third most powerful supercomputer in the world.

The supercomputer that previously held the No. 1 position, a Cray XT5 "Jaguar" system running at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility in Tennessee, is now No. 2.

The ranking of the Top 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world is compiled by Hans Meuer of the University of Mannheim in Germany, Erich Strohmaier and Horst Simon of NERSC/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The most recent list, the 36th edition, was released late last week.

The Chinese Tianhe-1A system running in China's National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin has achieved a peak performance of 2.57 petaflops per second, according to the ranking. (A petaflop is one quadrillion calculations per second.) The report said there had been rumors the Tianhe-1A could take over the top spot and the system was the subject of a New York Times story last month.

A Chinese system called Nebulae, located at the National Supercomputing Centre in Shenzen, is the third most powerful supercomputer in the world with a performance of 1.27 petaflops per second.


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