China is losing space in the supercomputer race

© China is losing ground in the supercomputer race

The supercomputer race is alive and well; and China seems to be losing space to the list of top 500 supercomputers in the world, published every six months.

As the BBC notes, the US has maintained its position, holding first and second places with the world’s two most powerful computers. At the top is the “Summit”, with a processing power of 200 petaflops; 200 quadrillion calculations per second.

The number of US supercomputers among the top 500 increased from November, from 109 to 116. China still has the most, but decreased to 219 from 227.

“Top 500” monitors the processing power of the fastest supercomputers in the world that are used for a wide range of tasks, from designing jet engines to “training” neural networks.

The top three in the ranking are:

  • “Summit”, the US Department of Energy (IBM)
  • “Sierra”, the US Department of Energy (IBM)
  • “Sunway TaihuLight”, the Chinese National Computer Center (NRCPC)

In the most recent list, only supercomputers with at least one petaflop of computing power (one quadrillion calculations per second) are shown for the first time.

The total power of the 500 supercomputers in the list is 1.56 exaflops (one and a half quinquies million calculations per second), an increase of 10% over the previous six months. It is noted that one exaflop corresponds to making every man on the planet a calculation per second for four years.

Combined power of the “Top 500” will more than double in 2021, as the US is expected to launch two new supercomputers, “Frontier” and “Aurora”.

Other countries in the list are the United Kingdom, with 18 in the “Top 500”, France with 18, Japan with 19 and Germany with 14.
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