- China's Tianhe-2 supercomputer beats ORNL's Titan machine by nearly a 2:1 margin
Oak Ridge National Laboratory's (ORNL) Titan has been unseated as the king of supercomputers, and painfully so. The Chinese Tianhe-2 (TH-2 or Skyriver) supercomputer is nearly twice as fast as Titan, clocking in at a whopping 33.9 petaflops (quadrillion calculations per second).
This incredible speed puts it on top of the TOP500 list that is released every six months. This marks the second time China has held the first place in supercomputing power. The first one was in 2010, with the release of TH-1.
The new supercomputer is housed at the National Super Computer Center, in Guangzhou, NPR reports. It boasts two Intel Ivy Bridge Xeon processors and three Xeon Phi chips per computer node, for a total of 16,000 nodes and 3,120,000 cores.
Titan, the former record holder, boasts a speed of 17.59 petaflops, nearly half that of TH-2. The next positions in the TOP500 chart are occupied by IBM's Sequoia machine (17.17 petaflops), Fujitsu's K computer (10.51 petaflops) and IBM's Mira (8.59 petaflops). TH-2 is nearly 4 times faster than MIRA.
This move by China should come as no surprise, since the country has continuously restated its objective of remaining the world leader in supercomputing capabilities. Officials say that TH-2 will be used for security applications and modeling, but what that means, precisely, remains a mystery.