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International

China overtakes U.S. with world's most powerful supercomputer

The latest edition of the Top 500 list of the world's most powerful supercomputers shows that the Cray XT5 'Jaguar' system has been beaten by the Chinese-built Tianhe-1A.
Written by Erica Ogg, Contributor on
The latest edition of the Top 500 list of the world's most powerful supercomputers shows that the Cray XT5 'Jaguar' system has been beaten by the Chinese-built Tianhe-1A.

The Jaguar supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has been at the top of the list for a year, but has now been overtaken by Tianhe-1A, which was built by China's National University of Defense Technology and is located at the National Supercomputing Centre in Tianjin. Tianhe-1A achieved a performance level of 2.67 petaflops per second while Jaguar achieved 1.75 petaflop/s. Third place went to another Chinese-built system, called Nebulae, which registered 1.27 petaflop/s.

While the news of China's achievement is not exactly a surprise, the supercomputing community in the US is looking at it two ways: as an assurance that US software and components are still elite in their field, and as a wake-up call that the country's prestige in high-performance computing is not a given.

For more on this story, read China unseats U.S. in supercomputer ranking on CNET News.

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