News / Science & Technology

China Boasts World's Fastest Computer

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

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VOA News
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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Comment Sorting
by: Steven G. from: Bronx, New York
June 20, 2013 11:19 AM
I don't know how the Chinese can says they have the fastest computer when its chocked full of American made computer chips. Intel seems to be all over the place. They just happen to have a bigger budget and purchased more american chips. This side show really doesn't impress me with Chinese ingenuity.
In Response

by: K. Southall
June 25, 2013 5:19 PM
Steven, you do realize that a)many of the engineers in Intel are not American, they are of numerous ethnicities and b)most of Intel's chips are made in the Philippines. And have been for quite some time.

I seriously doubt you could call whatever chips they used "American made"

Corporate entities are multi-national, they know no allegiance to nation states, and the ingenuity of engineers can be found all over.

Our Hubris as Americans will spell our downfall, and already is. We are an aging empire and if "American ingenuity" and well being is going to last into the 21st century we really, really, need to look around us, see how the world is changing, and protect our interests with less arrogance and hubris. Once the UK was an industrial powerhouse. Today it is largely an industrial backwater (though a Financial sector of great value).

It is hard for we Americans to come to terms with the current global layout but the reality is that "we" however you decide to contextualize we are being outstripped pace by pace around the world. You can try to blame anyone you like, but it is always wiser for us to first put blame at our doorsteps, and examine where our attitudes actions or inactions contribute, and stop deluding ourselves first.

by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
June 19, 2013 9:53 PM
China must steal American's tech. Oh wait a minute, American computer is only half the speed as the China's. How could theirs be better is they steal.
In Response

by: Jonathan Chu from: America
July 03, 2013 10:58 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong but... First of all, you say, "China must USE America's tech." Steal isn't the right word. Then you say, "America's computer ARE only half the speed as China's." And finally,"How could theirs be better IF they steal." I maybe better in english but maybe not chinese. So you can correct me when I say something wrong.

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
June 19, 2013 4:08 AM
Congrats China. I hope Chinese scientists would win Nobel Prize more and more and contribute to the prosperity of people around the world through the developement of science.

by: Liu yang from: China
June 18, 2013 8:12 PM
China can now boast the world’s fastest supercomputer, according to the semiannual TOP500 official listing of the world's fastest supercomputers released Monday.
BOAST: now I fully understand VOA is the mouthpiece of the US gov.
In Response

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
June 19, 2013 3:36 AM
I have been undestanding VOA is actually a mouthpiece of the U.S. government. Could you tell me how have you been thinking about VOA?

I suppose if Japanese computer is ranked as the fastest computer, VOA would also report Japan can now boast.....

by: Eric from: Oceanside
June 17, 2013 5:27 PM
The article is misleading. The U.S. didn't run their "fastest" in this competition. What we share with the world is what our fastest was five years ago as far as public information is concerned. It's always been that way.
In Response

by: joezhifu from: Singapore
June 18, 2013 6:48 AM
Good to know. Thought you lost the game for the moment/.

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