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China’s Tianhe-2 takes fastest supercomputer crown

If you’ve ever found yourself clicking profusely at your mouse, wishing your computer would get a move on, you may have wondered if there was a faster device out there. Here’s the answer — a supercomputer that works quadrillion turns a second. And that’s the Chinese-developed Tianhe-2, which has retained the top spot for the fourth consecutive time as the world’s fastest supercomputer ranked by the TOP 500 project.

Tianhe-2, which means “Milky Way-2”, is developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology. This supercomputer relegated the US-developed Titan to second spot, with a performance of 33.86 petaflop or 33,860 quadrillion calculations per second. IBM’s Sequoia rounded out the top three in the list.

The US was home to six of the top ten supercomputers, while China, Japan, Switzerland and Germany have one entrant each. Starting in 1993, the TOP 500 project issues a list twice a year that ranks supercomputers based on their performance and is considered one of the most authoritative rankings of the world’s supercomputers.