Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The World's Most Powerful Supercomputer


Tianhe-2 Supercomputer of China – World’s Most Powerful System

According to a biannual Top500 list of supercomputers, Tianhe-2 supercomputer of China has maintained its place as the most powerful system in the world for the sixth consecutive time. The Top500 list is considered to be one of the most authoritative rankings of the world’s supercomputers and has been compiled on the basis of the performance of the machines on the Linpack benchmark by experts from Germany and the US.

Tiahne-2 also known as the Milky Way-2 having a performance of 33.86 petaflops per second –Pflop/s had been invented by China’s National University of Defence Technology and organized at the National Supercomputer Centre in Guangzhou. It has held the title since June 2013.

According to the official media report, the Chinese system is said to be around twice as fast as the next on the list, Titan of the US Department of Energy that has a performance of 17.59 Pflop/s. In the latest edition of the closely watched list, no changes have come up regarding the ranking of the world’s top 5 supercomputers since June 2013.

China – Great Leap to 109 Systems

As per professor of the University of Tennessee and editor of the report, Jack Dongarra stated in an email to state-run Xinhua news agency that the top five computers are very expensive and powerful and it would take another year before a new system tends to enter the top five.From July 2015’s list some of the substantial changes to this list is the sharp decline in the number of systems in the US now at 201. It has been reported that in July, this is down from 231 and seems to be the lowest number of systems that have been connected in the US since the list had begun in 1993.

 In comparison, China had made a great leap to 109 systems. Dongarra had stated that China received a big enhancement from Sugon, Lenovo and Inspur. The large number of submissions had come from Sugon. As per the Top500 statement, Sugon had outdone IBM in the system category with 49 systems and Lenovo that had acquired IBM’s x86 server business last year had 25 systems in the list, up from three systems on the list of July 2015. Besides this, some systems which were earlier listed as IBM have now been labelled as IBM/Lenovo and Lenovo/IBM.

China Carving Bigger Share as Manufacturer

The third vendor from China, Inspur, now has about 15 systems on the list. The statement mentioned that China is carving out a bigger share as a manufacturer of great performance computer together with manifold Chinese manufacturers being very active in this arena.

Overall HP tends to lead the list with 156 systems followed by Cray with 69 systems with China’s Sugan with 49 systems. However, US intend to ultimately lead the world in supercomputer. Last fall IBM, had indicated that it would develop two new supercomputers named Summit and Sierra, for the Energy Department which would be still more powerful than China’s Tianhe-2 supercomputer but the same would not be ready till 2017.

President Obama had signed an executive order calling for the U.S. in July to develop the world’s most powerful supercomputer under the National Strategic Computing Initiative. The Energy Department as well as the National Science Foundation would be leading the push. There seems to be no deadline for the supercomputer’s completion though initiative members are expected to give yearly updates on its progress for the next five years.

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