It's official: China wrests supercomputing title from United States

Chinese system hits 2.5 petaflops, honored by Top 500 list

It's now official: A Chinese supercomputer is the world's fastest machine. 

The news has been expected since last month and was confirmed today by the latest Top 500 list of the world's fastest high-performance clusters. 

Microsoft breaks petaflop barrier, loses Top 500 spot to Linux

The Top 500 group released the following statement:

"The 36th edition of the closely watched TOP500 list of the world's most powerful supercomputers confirms the rumored takeover of the top spot by the Chinese Tianhe-1A system at the National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin, achieving a performance level of 2.57 petaflop/s (quadrillions of calculations per second).

"News of the Chinese system's performance emerged in late October. As a result, the former number one system - the Cray XT5 'Jaguar' system at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility in Tennessee - is now ranked in second place. Jaguar achieved 1.75 petaflop/s running Linpack, the TOP500 benchmark application.

"Third place is now held by a Chinese system called Nebulae, which was also knocked down one spot from the June 2010 TOP500 list with the appearance of Tianhe-1A. Located at the National Supercomputing Centre in Shenzhen, Nebulae performed at 1.27 petaflop/s.

"Tsubame 2.0 at the Tokyo Institute of Technology is number four; having achieved a performance of 1.19 petaflop/s. Tsubame is the only Japanese machine in the TOP10."

That Tsubame system, by the way, runs both Linux and Windows. But the top four spot went to Linux because Tokyo officials were able to achieve higher speed with the open source operating system. 

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