Earlier this month we said that China was poised to sit atop the supercomputing summit with its Tianhe-2, a system built by the Chinese National University of Defense Technology (NUDT). Armed with over 3 million physical processing cores and 1 petabyte of memory, there was no way this thing wouldn't shoot right to the top, and so it did, taking pole position on the TOP500 chart.
Tianhe-2 notches up 30.65 petaflops during benchmark test
China scaled the supercomputing summit in late 2010, when a 2.507-petaflop machine named Tianhe-1A (or Milkyway-1) was ranked as the fastest supercomputer by TOP500, which publishes a list of the fastest 500 supercomputers twice a year. Its stay there, though, was brief, lasting all of six months. But if you think it was just a flash in the pan, the Chinese National University of Defense Technology (NUDT), the organization which developed the Tianhe-1A, is building the Tianhe-2 in order to prove you wrong.
November 2009 was the last time a United States supercomputer sat on top of the TOP500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers, and thanks to Sequoia, an IBM BlueGene/Q system residing at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the U.S. is back out in front of the pack after it achieved 16.32 petaflop/s on the Linpack benchmark. Over a million and a half cores (1,572,864, to be exact) comprise Sequoia, which TOP500 describes as one of the most energy efficient systems on the list.