China’s homebred Sunway TaihuLight [Photo/Xinhua]
A new Chinese supercomputer has dethroned the country’s Tianhe-2 from the top of a list of the 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world.
For the first time, the country has taken top spot without using US technology.
The newcomer, called Sunway TaihuLight, is twice as fast and three times as efficient as Tianhe-2.
The new system was developed by the Chinese National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology and installed at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, Jiangsu province.
A statement from the half-yearly list compiled by experts from the United States and Europe said, “China maintained its No 1 ranking on the 47th edition of the TOP 500 list of the world’s top supercomputers, but with a new system built entirely using processors designed and made in China.”
Tianhe-2, an Intel-based supercomputer, had claimed the top spot on the past six TOP 500 lists.
It is also the first time since the list was initially drawn up in 1993 that the US is no longer home to the largest number of supercomputer systems.
“With a surge in industrial and research installations registered over the past few years, China leads with 167 systems and the US is second with 165,” the statement said.
China also leads the performance category, it said.
Jack Dongarra, a professor of computer science at the University of Tennessee and editor of the list, told Xinhua News Agency: “It’s a trend with China. They had no systems in 2001, and today they surpass the United States. No other nation has seen such rapid growth.”
Dongarra said supercomputers are more important than ever, as they provide the capability to match a broad range of industries, including energy, pharmaceuticals, aircraft, automobile and entertainment.
“More powerful computing capability will allow these diverse industries to engineer superior new products more quickly, which could improve a nation’s competitiveness,” he said.