China surpasses US with the world’s most powerful computers in latest TOP500 list
Linux Now Runs On All Top 500 Supercomputers In The World
According to the TOP500 list of the fastest supercomputers which shows that all of the world’s fastest supercomputers run Linux, reports ZDNet. The previous two exceptions on the list – Chinese IBM POWER computers – which ran AIX, are no longer on the November 2017 list.
Linux first appeared on the TOP500 list in 1998, and by 2004 Linux had become the favorite operating system in supercomputing. There were 485 Linux-powered systems in the TOP500 list in 2015, which increased to 498 out of 500 in 2016 and in 2017 it is running on all the 500 supercomputers in the list.
“Linux [became] the driving force behind the breakthroughs in computing power that have fueled research and technological innovation,” as reported in The Linux Foundation’s 20 years of Top500.org.
Further, the TOP500 list that is released twice annually, shows that China has overtaken the US in the total number of ranked systems by a margin of 202 to 144 in the TOP500 list 2017. This is the first time that China has surpassed the US in the rankings. Only a few months ago, the US had 169 systems in the Top500 compared to China’s 159.
“It is the largest number of supercomputers China has ever claimed on the TOP500 ranking, with the US presence shrinking to its lowest level since the list’s inception 25 years ago,” TOP500 said in a statement.
While the US ranks second in the world for supercomputers, Japan comes in at third and Germany at fourth with 35 and 20 supercomputers respectively. These were followed by France and UK with 18 and 15 supercomputers respectively in the TOP500 list 2017.
Also, according to the new TOP500 list, China’s Sunway TaihuLight for the fourth time in a row retained its number one ranking with a performance of 93.01 petaflops on the High Performance Linpack (HPL) test. A petaflop is a thousand trillion floating point operations per second.
Tianhe-2, or Milky Way-2, another Chinese computer once again maintained the number two position with 33.86 petaflops. Tianhe-2, which is based on Intel chips, was the number one system on the TOP500 list for three consecutive years until it was displaced by Sunway TaihuLight in June last year.
In terms of aggregate performance, China came in first with its supercomputers representing 35.4 percent of the Top500’s flops, while the US came in second with 29.6 percent.
In the meanwhile, China’s overtaking of the US in the total number of ranked supercomputers is not reasonable as the latter’s technologies still dominate the high-performance computing (HPC) market, claim experts.
“We should be soberly aware that core technologies of the mainstream products on the HPC market, such as CPU and GPU, are now still being dominated and controlled by US companies,” Liu Jun, the general manager of China’s Inspur, told Xinhua. “China still lags far behind when compared with the US and Europe and requires continuous efforts for further development.”
For more information on the complete TOP500 supercomputer’s list for November 2017, click here.
The author Kavita Iyer
An individual, optimist, homemaker, foodie, a die hard cricket fan and most importantly one who believes in Being Human