China's Tianhe-2 Still World's Fastest Supercomputer
The latest Top500 list shows a continued slowing of overall performance growth, though that could change in 2017.China's massive Tianhe-2 supercomputer is still the world's fastest, topping the latest list of the top 500 more powerful systems. This is the fourth consecutive time the Tianhe-2—developed by China's National University of Defense Technology—has been No. 1 on the Top500 list, which is released twice a year. The latest Top500 list was released Nov. 17 on the first day of the SC14 supercomputing show in New Orleans. There actually was little change in the roster of the world's top 10 fastest supercomputers—the only change from the previous list released in June was in the No. 10 spot—and organizers of the list said in a statement that it illustrates a trend over the last two years of a slowing growth rate in performance in the supercomputer space. The list is compiled by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee and a German company, Prometeus. According to the researchers, until June 2013, the fast growth of performance in the largest systems at the top of the list had balanced the relatively slower growth rate of those systems at the bottom of the list. However, they said, the little turnover at the top of the list over the past couple of years is an indication that the overall performance growth rate is slowing.
This slowing growth rate is seen most clearly by the performance of the last systems on the list, which has been slower over the past five years (about 55 percent) than between 1994 and 2008, when the annual growth rate for the No. 500 supercomputer on the list was 90 percent.