Takes accolade two years before it's expected to come into service

China’s Tianhe-2 named world’s fastest supercomputer

A team of international researchers has named Chinese supercomputer Tianhe-2 the fastest of its kind.

The results of the latest TOP500.org list (which lists, as you might guess, the top 500 fastest supercomputers) were announced at the International Supercomputing Conference in Leipzig, Germany. Tianhe-2 grabbed the top spot with a performance of 33.86 petaflop/s on the Linpack benchmark

The computer, also known as the Milky Way-2, will come into action at the National Supercomptuer Centre in Guangzho, China by the end of the year. It 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.

It’s the first time China has taken pole position in the top 500 since 2010.

The previous machine at number one, was the Titan, a Cray XK7 system installed at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is now ranked No. 2. It achieved 17.59 petaflop/s on the Linpack benchmark using 261,632 of its NVIDIA K20x accelerator cores. Whew.

According to TOP500 Editor Jack Dongarra, who toured the Tianhe-2 development facility in May, the system is noteworthy in a number of aspects. “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.”

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