China takes lead in supercomputer stakes for Milky Way-2

17 Jun 2013

The Tianhe-2 system, which was developed by China's National University of Defense Technology. Credit: TOP500 list

A supercomputer by the name of Milky Way-2 that has been developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology has managed to oust the US from the top spot in the latest listing that ranks the world’s fastest supercomputers.

The Tianhe-2 system, better known as Milky Way-2, has earned the accolade as the world’s most powerful supercomputer after pushing the US-developed system Titan into second place.

Milky Way-2 can reach processing speeds of 33.86 petaflop/s on the Linpack benchmark, making it the world’s fastest supercomputer, according to the latest edition of the twice-yearly TOP500 list.

The supercomputer has 16,000 nodes, each with two Intel Xeon IvyBridge processors and three Xeon Phi processors. It is set to be deployed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzho, China, by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the former No. 1 supercomputer Titan, a Cray XK7 system installed at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been pushed down to second place on the listing. Titan is capable of 17.17 petaflop/s on the Linpack benchmark.

Third place went to Sequoia, an IBM BlueGene/Q system installed at DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

The remaining supercomputers that make up the top five on the list are Fujitsu’s K computer, which is installed at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science in Kobe, Japan, and Mira, another IBM BlueGene/Q system that is in situ at the Argonne National Laboratory outside of Chicago in the US.

The list was announced today during the opening session of the 2013 International Supercomputing Conference in Leipzig, Germany.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic