China dominates list of world's top supercomputers again

2017-11-14 01:39:38 GMT2017-11-14 09:39:38(Beijing Time) Xinhua English
Photo taken on June 20, 2016 shows Sunway TaihuLight, a new Chinese supercomputer, in Wuxi, east China's Jiangsu Province. (Xinhua/Li Xiang) Photo taken on June 20, 2016 shows Sunway TaihuLight, a new Chinese supercomputer, in Wuxi, east China's Jiangsu Province. (Xinhua/Li Xiang)

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- Once again, China dominated anew list of the world's fastest supercomputers, not only taking thetop two seats, but also pulling ahead of the United States in thesheer number of systems being used.


According to a biannual ranking of the world's 500 fastestsupercomputers, called the Top500 published Monday, China's SunwayTaihuLight maintains the lead as the No. 1 system for the fourthtime, with a performance of 93.01 petaflops.

China's Tianhe-2, or Milky Way-2, is still the No. 2 system at33.86 petaflops. Intel chip-based Tianhe-2 had topped the list forthree years until it was displaced in November 2015 by TaihuLight,which was built by entirely using processors designed and made inChina.

The No. 3 is Switzerland's Piz Daint, which is also the mostpowerful supercomputer in Europe. A new system in Japan, calledGyoukou, is the No. 4, pushing Titan, the top U.S system, to theNo. 5.

"For the second time in a row there is no system from the U.S.under the TOP3," Top500 said in a statement.

And that's not all. The 50th edition of Top500 ranking alsoshows that China has overtaken the United States in the totalnumber of ranked systems by a margin of 202 to 144. Just six monthsago, the United States. led with 169 systems, and China with159.

"It is the largest number of supercomputers China has everclaimed on the TOP500 ranking, with the U.S. presence shrinking toits lowest level since the list's inception 25 years ago," Top500said.

"China now clearly shows a substantially larger number ofinstallations than the United States."

China has also overtaken the United States in aggregateperformance as well. The Asian country now claims 35.3 percent ofthe TOP500 flops, with the United States at second place with 29.8percent.


When it comes to companies making these systems, the U.S.-basedHewlett-Packard Enterprise has the lead in the number of installedsupercomputers at 123, which represents nearly a quarter of allTOP500 systems.

China's Lenovo followed HPE with 81 systems, down from 88systems on the June list, and another Chinese company called Inspurjumped to the third position with 56 systems, up from the sixthplace and 20 systems only six month ago.

Liu Jun, Inspur's high performance computing (HPC) generalmanager, told Xinhua said China and its research institutes andcompanies have invested a lot in supporting HPC research,development and innovation.

"So China has improved greatly in its HPC competitiveness andperformance," he said. "In addition, the United States and Europemay have a more prolonged update cycle for theirsupercomputers."

Liu cautioned that China's overtaking of the United States inthe total number of ranked systems didn't make too much sense.

"We should be soberly aware that core technologies of themainstream products on the HPC market, such as CPU and GPU, are nowstill being dominated and controlled by U.S. companies," Liusaid.

"China still lags far behind when compared with the U.S. andEurope and requires continuous efforts for further development,"Liu said.

Experts also predicted that Summit, a system currently beingdeveloped by the U.S. Department of Energy, could dethrone China'sTaihuLight next year, when it comes to run with an expectedperformance of 200 petaflops.


Other systems in the top 10 included Sequoia, Trinity and Coriof the United States, as well as Oakforest-PACS and K computer ofJapan.

Top500 said this is the first time that each of the top 10supercomputers delivered more than 10 petaflops.

There are also 181 systems with performance higher than apetaflop -- up from 138 six months ago, according to the list.

Taking a broader look, the combined performance of all 500systems has grown to 845 petaflops, compared to 749 petaflops onthe June list and 672 petaflops one year ago.

"Even though aggregate performance grew by nearly 100 petaflops,the relative increase is well below the list's long-term historicaltrend," the list said.

And the entry point in the latest rankings moved up to 548teraflops, compared to 432 teraflops in June.

"The 548-teraflop system was in position 370 in the previousTOP500 list," it said. "The turnover is in line with what has beenobserved over the last four years, but is much lower than previouslevels."

The Top500 list is considered one of the most authoritativerankings of the world's supercomputers. It is compiled on the basisof the machines' performance on the Linpack benchmark by expertsfrom the United States and Germany. Enditem