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China Boasts World's Fastest Computer

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China's Tianhe-2 is now the world's fastest supercomputer. Credit: TOP500.org

China's Tianhe-2 is now the world's fastest supercomputer. Credit: TOP500.org

China can now boast the world’s fastest supercomputer, according to the semiannual TOP500 official listing of the world's fastest supercomputers released Monday.

Tianhe-2, or Milky Way-2, clocked in at number one with a performance of 33.86 petaflops per second, according to a press release issued byTOP500. The computer was developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology and will be deployed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzho, China, by the end of the year.

China last wore the crown of fastest supercomputer in November of 2010 with Tianhe-1.

The Chinese computer was a surprising winner, according to the release, because it was developed two years ahead of schedule.

Tianhe-2 has 16,000 nodes, each with two Intel Xeon IvyBridge processors and three Xeon Phi processors for a combined total of 3,120,000 computing cores.

"Most of the features of the system were developed in China, and they are only using Intel for the main compute part," said TOP500 editor Jack Dongarra in a news release accompanying the announcement. "That is, the interconnect, operating system, front-end processors and software are mainly Chinese," said Dongarra, who toured the Tianhe-2 development facility in May.

The previous number one, the Cray-made Titan computer installed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, is now ranked second. The third ranking computer, IBM’s Sequoia, installed at DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is also in the U.S.

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