When it comes to supercomputers, the US used to dominate the world rankings. But these days its status is slipping, while China is surging ahead.
According to the updated Top500 list, which rounds up supercomputer performance around the world every six months:
China nearly tripled the number of systems on the latest list, while the number of systems in the United States has fallen to the lowest point since the TOP500 list was created in 1993. China is also carving out a bigger share as a manufacturer of high performance computers with multiple Chinese manufacturers becoming more active in this field.
The number of US supercomputers in the top 500 has now dropped to just 200, down from 231 in July. Meanwhile, China now boasts 109 systems in the list, nearly three times the 37 it had in the top 500 just six months ago. The United Kingdom enters the rankings in relatively lowly 41st place, with the University of Edinburgh's ARCHER computer; overall Britain has 18 mega-machines in the top 500.
China maintains its top spot on the list with Tianhe-2, which can perform a staggering 33.86 quadrillion calculations per second. Meanwhile, Titan, a Cray XK7 supercomputer installed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, keeps its second place. It can perform just 17.59 quadrillion calculations per second — half as many as China’s top dog. The Scottish supercomputer at Edinburgh's university clocks in at 1.64 quadrillion. Trifling sums, no? [Top500]