Chinese supercomputer is twice as fast as the previous champion, America's Titan

Chinese fastest supercomputer beats the US

Nicknamed the ‘Milky way-2,’ or Tianhe-2, the supercomputer built at the Chinese National University of Defence Technology is twice as fast the USA’s super machine Titan.

According to the six-monthly TOP500 official listing of the world’s fastest supercomputers, the Tianhe-2 has the processing speed of 33.86 petaflops per second, which is equivalent to 33,860 trillion calculations per second.

The super machine, constructed by researchers at the university in central China’s Changsha city, thus beats the supercomputer Titan of the US Department of Energy, previously listed as the fastest in the world with the capacity of 17.59 petaflops per second.

"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. "The interconnect, operating system, front-end processors and software are mainly Chinese," said Mr Dongarra, who toured the Tianhe-2 development facility in May.

It is not the first time China has managed to become the world’s supercomputing champion. In November 2010, the Tianhe-2's predecessor, Tianhe-1A, took the first spot, but was knocked down by Japan's K computer a few months later.

In less than three years that have passed since Tianhe-1A , China has achieved an over ten-fold processing speed improvement. Tianhe-1A was capable of processing 2.56 petaflop per second, which makes it belong to the top10 of world's fastest supercomputers even today.

Experts say the recent success is yet another proof of China turning into a fully-fledged science and technology powerhouse, which is able to successfully compete with the US, Japan or Europe,

Super-computers are used for complex work such as modelling weather systems, simulating nuclear explosions and designing airliners.

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