Chinese supercomputer ranked world's fastest by TOP500

14:59, November 17, 2010      

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Jack Dongarra (L), co-author of the Top 500 supercomputers list and professor of University of Tennessee, introduces the list during a ceremony officially announcing the Top 500 list, in New Orleans, Louisana, the United States, Nov. 16, 2010. Tianhe-1A, a NUDT YH Cluster System at the center, is ranked No. 1 among the 36th edition of the World's TOP 500 Supercomputers with 2.566 PFlop/s Linpack Performance. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)

A Chinese supercomputer was ranked the world's fastest machine in the TOP500 list officially issued Tuesday by U.S. and European researchers, highlighting China's rapid progress in the field.

The Tianhe-1A system at the National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin, is capable of sustaining computation at 2.57 petaflop/s, which equates to a mind-numbing 2.57 quadrillions of calculations per second.

As a result, the former number one system -- the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Jaguar in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, that achieved 1.75 petaflop/s -- is now ranked in second place, according to the 36th edition of the TOP500 list.

The list is compiled by Hans Meuer of the University of Mannheim, Germany, Erich Strohmaier and Horst Simon of National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC)/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

"A Chinese university made Tianhe based on China's own technology," Dongarra said at a ceremony to honor the top 500 supercomputers Tuesday. "Its interconnects are very interesting."

Tianhe is a demonstration of how "a country can achieve if they put their money on their ambitions," said Strohmaier at the same ceremony. "Making progress like that is only possible by supporting your research community and your manufactures for extended period of time like five to 10 years."

Liu Guangming, director of the National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin, said Tianhe is a supercomputer system developed by the National University of Defense Technology. It works as a backbone node of Chinese National Grid.

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