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Chinese Tianhe-1A Supercomputer Named World's Fastest

The Chinese Tianhe-1A system has topped the 36th Top500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers, replacing the Cray XT5 “Jaguar” system in the US.

The supercomputer, located at the National Supercomputer Centre in Tianjin, registers a performance level of 2.57 petaflop/s (quadrillions of calculations per second), whereas the Jaguar system at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility in Tennessee came in second with a performance level of 1.75 petaflop/s.

The performance level is recorded with the Linpack application, used by the Top500 list to determine the most powerful supercomputers.

The Chinese-built Nebulae, previously the second most powerful supercomputer in the world, has been knocked down to third place. Located at the National Supercomputing Centre in Shenzhen, the machine has a performance level of 1.27 petaflop/s.

The Tsubame 2.0, located at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, the only Japanese supercomputer on the Top 10 list, reached fourth place with 1.19 petaflop/s. The fifth spot went to US DOE supercomputer Hopper, which has 1.05 petaflop/s in performance.

Three of the top 5 supercomputers, two Chinese and one Japanese, use Nvidia GPUs for high performance computing. GPUs have come to play a vital role in HPC, with 28 of the Top500 machines deploying them to enhance performance.