China's Massive Sunway TaihuLight Dominates List of Supercomputers

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2016-06-24

China this week toppled the United States from its position atop the global supercomputing world. China not only put a powerful new supercomputer into the No. 1 position on the latest Top500 list of the world's fastest systems that was released this week at the ISC High Performance 2016 show in Frankfurt, Germany, but it also now has 167 supercomputers on the list, two more than the United States, with 165. It's the first time in the more than two decades that the list has been kept that the United States is not home to the largest number of computers. It wasn't entirely unexpected. A report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) two months ago warned that the United States was in danger of losing its edge in high-performance computing (HPC), given the rising competition from other regions, particularly China. The United States is looking to respond. The Department of Energy in 2014 signed up IBM and GPU vendor Nvidia to build two 150-petaflop supercomputers—which aren't due to go online until 2017 or 2018—and another supercomputer, which is scheduled for 2019. In addition, President Obama last year issued an executive order aimed at accelerating the development of HPC systems in the United States. This eWEEK slide show looks at the top 10 fastest systems on the list.


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