The latest edition of the
Top500 supercomputers list was released this month and China continues to lead the pack in terms of total number of systems, accounting for 202. The United States of America came in at its lowest level in 25 years with 143, but still keeps second place overall.
With 35 systems, Japan comes in third and coming in at fourth is Germany with 20, highlighting the significant gap between it and the leader, China.
The November report found that just six months ago the
US led with 169 system, with China initially falling short with 160 systems, but the tables have been swiftly turned by the Communist country.
The UK has 15 machines, coming in at sixth position.
Since the June edition of the Top500, the running order hasn't drastically changed, although there are a few notable changes.
Read on for the list of the fastest supercomputers on the planet...
1. Sunway TaihuLight
© Jack Dongarra: Report on the Sunway TaihuLight System, June 2016
Continuing its reign at number one is the computer installed at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, China. The world's most powerful computer by a considerable distance, the Sunway TaihuLight is capable of performing around 93,000 trillion calculations per second.
Top speed (Linpack performance): 93 petaflops Total cores: 10,649,600
© Flickr/Sam Churchill
Bolstering the Chinese claim to supercomputing superpower is another monolith that has retained its previous high rank. Also known as Milky-Way-2, it was
knocked off the top spot last year by the Sunway TaihuLight, which boasts three times the speed of its predecessor. The supercomputer was built by China's Nation University of Defense Technology and was the number one system for three consecutive years before falling into second place.
Top speed: 33.8 petaflops Total cores: 3,120,000
3. Piz Daint
© Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS)
The number three - and Europe's fastest supercomputer - was named after an Alpine mountain less than 80 miles from its Swiss National Computing Center home.
Occupying the same place in June, and eight place in last November's rankings, Piz Daint was upgraded with additional NVIDIA P100 Tesla GPUs. This resulted in a significant performance improvement, from 9.8 petaflops to 19.6 petaflops, year to year.
Top speed: 19.6 petaflops Total cores: 361,760
The new number four is the Gyoukou supercomputer. This ZettaScaler-2.2 system is deployed at Japan’s Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and can achieve 19.14 petaflops using PEZY-SC2 accelerators and Intel Xeon processors.
Top speed: 19.1 petaflops Total cores: 19,860,000
© Wikipedia/US Department of Energy
Titan has more than earned its imposing name. The Cray construction has contributed to research breakthroughs at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) that has improved nuclear power plant safety and performance, boosted drug development, and improved the understanding of climate change.
Top speed: 17.6 petaflops Total cores: 560,640
© Wikimedia Commons/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
The IBM construction was named the world’s fastest supercomputer in June 2012, but has slowly slipped down the list. It’s primarily used for nuclear weapons simulations.
Top speed: 17.1 petaflops Total cores: 1,572,864
© Los Alamos National Laboratory
Another Cray system, Trinity runs at the
Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
Top speed: 14.1 petaflops Total cores: 979,968
Cori was named after American biochemist Gerty Cori, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. The Cray creation is installed at Berkeley Lab's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC).
Top speed: 14 petaflops Total cores: 622,336
Japan’s highest entry in the Top500 is powered by the same Intel “Knights Landing” Xeon Phi 7250 processor as the Cori computer that pipped it into the top five. Built by Fujitsu, it’s run jointly by the University of Tokyo and the University of Tsukuba.
Top speed: 13.6 petaflops Total cores: 556,104
10. K computer
© RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science
The second consecutive Fujitsu-manufactured Japanese entrant on our list reached number one in its 2011 prime. It’s used in a range of fields including meteorology, disaster prevention and medicine.
Top speed: 10.5 petaflops Total cores: 705,024