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China surpasses US Titan,develops world’s fastest supercomputer

Tianhe-2 is capable of operating as fast as 33.86 petaflops per second.

Written by PTI | Beijing | Published: June 17, 2013 6:37:12 pm

China’s defence scientists have built the world’s fastest supercomputer,capable of performing 33.86 quadrillion operations per second,surpassing the US Titan supercomputer,according to survey results announced today.

Costing USD 100 million,the Tianhe-2 has a peak performance speed of 54.9 quadrillion operations per second,according to the National University of Defence Technology,which built the computer.

The computer’s predecessor,the Tianhe-1A,was the world’s fastest supercomputer from November 2010 to June 2011,when it was surpassed by Japan’s K computer,state-run Xinhua News agency reported.

Tianhe-2,or Milky Way-2,will be deployed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzho,China,by the end of the year,according to TOP500,a project ranking the 500 most powerful computer systems in the world.

State television CCTV had shown jubilant scenes as the supercomputer made it for second time taking the first place in the Top 500 list of the world’s most powerful


The surprise appearance of Tianhe-2,two years ahead of the expected deployment,marks China’s first return to the No 1 position since November 2010,when Tianhe-1A was the top system.

Tianhe-2 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.

The supercomputer Tianhe-2 is capable of operating as fast as 33.86 petaflops per second. It was ranked today as the world’s fastest computing system,according to TOP500.

Titan,a Cray XK7 system installed at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory and previously the No 1 system,is now ranked No 2.

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,” Dongarra said in a statement.

Rajeeb Hazra,Intel’s vice president,said the production of Tianhe-2 will not only benefit Chinese sciences and industries,but also provide sound infrastructure for the growing global demands of big data processing.

Experts believe Tianhe-2 demonstrates that China has been developing its own chip technology,which will ensure that the country plays an important role in the world’s high-performance computing (HPC).

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