Tianhe-2 remains the fastest supercomputer in the world

Tianhe-2, the supercomputer behemoth from China, retained its position as the world's most powerful supercomputer in the list of the top 500 machines across the globe.

It's the fifth time in a row that Tianhe-2, which was developed by China's National University of Defence Technology, has topped the rankings with a colossal 33.86 petaflops per second as measured on the Linpack benchmark.

The number two supercomputer was Titan, a Cray XK7 system which lives over at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the US, although it's way behind the Chinese leader, achieving half its raw performance at 17.59 petaflops per second.

There was only one new entry in the top 10 machines, namely Shaheen II, a Cray XC40 system installed at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, which came in at number seven with 5.54 petaflops per second. This is the first supercomputer from the Middle East to break into the top 10.

Which country has the most supercomputers in the top 500? That's still America with 233, although that number is down from 265 in November 2013. Numbers of European supercomputers were up to 141 compared to 130 the last time the rankings were compiled.

There was also an increase in chunky supercomputers which could crank out more than 1 petaflop per second – in the last list, there were 50 machines capable of that feat, whereas now this number has been upped considerably to 68.