China And United States Claim 171 Systems In The Latest Rankings

China continues to hold the top position in the list of 500 fastest supercomputers in the world with the number one and number two systems: Sunway TaihuLight, at a Linpack rating of 93 petaflops, and Tianhe-2, at 34 petaflops, according to the latest edition of the semi-annual Top500 list of supercomputers released yesterday.

However, the United States too has caught up with China and is now sharing the top position with the Asian country. Both nations added new systems to tie in terms of the number supercomputers that rank. Also, they are tied at 171 systems each and are also roughly equal in terms of raw computing power.

“The 48th edition of the Top500 list saw China and the United States pacing each other for supercomputing supremacy,” Top500 editors said in a statement released at an HPC conference in Salt Lake City. “A year ago the United States was the clear leader with 200 systems, while China had 108.”

However, in June 2016, that figure dropped to 165 while China’s jumped to 167, edging past the United States for the first time, which included the top two positions on the list – both of which remain unchanged in the latest rankings. According to the Top500 list, Germany (31), Japan (27), France (20), and the UK (13) also were fairly well represented.

Further, China and the United States are “neck-and-neck in the performance category” with the latter holding 33.9 percent of the overall installed performance while the former is second with 33.3 percent of the overall installed performance, said the statement.

Also, there were two new entries in the list have shaken up the top 10: the Cori supercomputer at Berkeley Lab’s National Energy research Scientific Computing Center, debuted at number five with 14 petaflops, and right behind it in the sixth position was the Oakforest-PACS in Japan, at 13.6 petaflops. The surprising part was the most energy-efficient machine fell well outside the top 10. However, thanks to the newly installed GPUs, Piz Daint at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre were still able to maintain their number eight position.

The total performance of all 500 computers on the list adds up to 672 petaflops, which is 60 percent higher than it was a year ago. In June this year, it was 566 petaflops.

The Top500 list is considered as one of the most respected rankings of the world’s supercomputers. It is collected on the basis of the machines’ performance on the Linpack benchmark by experts from the United States and Germany.