Chinese supercomputer retains 'world's fastest' title, beating US and Japanese competition
Biannual ranking of world's most powerful machines sees China take the top spot, though the US dominates in terms of sheer numbers
A Chinese supercomputer has retained the crown of world’s fastest supercomputer, beating competitors from both Japan and the US.
The Tianhe-2 was built by China's National University of Defence Technology in Guangzhou and is capable of operating at 33.86 petaflop/s.
This is the equivalent of performing 33,863 trillion calculations per second and is almost double the score achieved by the second most powerful machine: the American Titan supercomputer, which clocked in at 17.59 petaflop/s.
The list of the world’s fastest supercomputer is compiled biannually by the University of Mannheim in Germany, using a test known as the Linpack benchmark.
Despite a Chinese supercomputer holding the top-spot, the US still dominates the list overall, accounting for 265 of the 500 computers ranked. In geographical terms, America is followed by Asia (115 systems, down from 118) and then Europe (102 machines, down from 112) .
However, computer scientists have also criticized the metrics used by the test, pointing out that the single petaflops figure does not always translate directly into a useful supercomputer.
“We need a more practical measurement that reflects the real use of these supercomputers based on their most important applications,” Dr Alessandro Curioni, head of the computational sciences at IBM's Zurich research lab, told the BBC.
Although the Tianhe-2 (it means ‘Milkyway 2’) has the highest score in terms of raw processing power, Curioni notes that there are problems with running any computer efficiently.
For example, although the Tianhe-2 may be capable of processing at some given high speed, it might not be able to reach these peaks if it cannot deliver the data to its processors fast enough.
However, the symbolic importance of operating the world’s ‘fastest’ computer means that any proposed changes to how rankings are compiled could be met with “resistance”.
The top ten most powerful supercomputers:
- Tianhe-2 (China) 33.86 petaflop/s
- Titan (US) 17.59 petaflop/s
- Sequoia (US) 17.17 petaflop/s
- K computer (Japan) 10.51 petaflop/s
- Mira (US) 8.59 petaflop/s
- Piz Daint (Swiss) 6.27 petaflop/s
- Stampede (US) 5.17 petaflop/s
- Juqueen (Germany) 5.09 petaflop/s
- Vulcan (US) 4.29 petaflop/s
- SuperMuc (Germany) 2.90 petaflop/s
Life & Style blogs
Google Maps hides image of Android robot urinating on Apple in surprisingly insolent Easter egg
KickassTorrents down: new Isle of Man domain taken offline just hours after launch
Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow to replace sun as arctic air mass moves in
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£30000 - £32000 per annum + £4200 car allowance: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Suppo...
£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...