China Officially Overtakes U.S. in Supercomputer Performance

It's been rumored, but now it's official. The Chinese Tianhe-1A system at the National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin has achieved a performance level of 2.57 petaflop/s (quadrillions of calculations per second). This puts it in the number one spot on the 36th edition of the TOP500's world's most powerful supercomputer list, the organization said Sunday.

As a result, the prior winner on the list—the Cray XT5 "Jaguar" system at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility in Tennessee—is now ranked in second place, with a score of 1.75 petaflop/s.

Jaguar was expected to lose the top spot in the latest survey, ever since news first leaked in late October that the Tianhe-1A was testing considerably faster. TOP500 benchmarks each supercomputer with Linpack, the organization's benchmark application.

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