The new China supercomputer known as “Tianhe-2” has now been officially recognized as the fastest in the world. Capable of sustained computing speeds of 33.86 petaflops per second, the performance of the China supercomputer nearly doubles “Titan,” the previous record holding supercomputer by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Titan is capable of a commendable 17.59 petaflops per second.
The “Tianhe-2,” Chinese for “Milky Way-2,” was developed by the National University of Defense Technology of Changsha city. Rated at a staggering 33,860 billion calculations per second by the Linpack Benchmark test, the “Tianhe-2” is as capable as 338 million average household PCs put together, reports the Daily Mail.
The performance specs of the cutting edge “Tianhe-2” were published in the latest TOP500 report, an official bi-annual publication that lists the world’s fastest supercomputers.
An incredible piece of hardware, the “Tianhe-2” is capable of a maximum performance of 54.9 petaflops per second. Having spent years under development, the Tienhe-2 was not expected to be fully operational until as late as 2015.
Sponsored by the Chinese Government, TOP500 editor Jack Dongarra said: “‘Most of the features of the system were developed in China, and they are only using Intel for the main compute part.”
“That is, the interconnect, operating system, front-end processors and software are mainly Chinese,” continued Dongarra, who visited the Tianhe-2 development facility back in May.
The “Tianhe-2” will be installed at the National Supercomputer Centre of Guangzhou. The “Tianhe-2” will be used for “research and education” purposes.
While the Chinese substantially beat the U.S. in the title run for the world’s fastest supercomputer, the U.S. still leads the roster with the highest number of supercomputers in the Top 10 than any country.
The United States is ranked second (Titan), third (Sequoia), fifth (Mira), sixth (Stampede), and eighth (Vulcan). China is ranked first and tenth for its Tianehe-2 and its predecessor, the Tianhe-1A, respectively.
The “Tianhe-1A” was ranked first in November 2010 before the K computer of Japan claimed the title in 2011.
The “Titan” is a U.S. supercomputer made by Cray at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. At $60 million, the “Titan” was primarily funded by the United States Department of Energy and is also the first supercomputer to utilize a combination of GPUs and CPUs in order to perform over 10 petaflops/second.