Tianhe-2 is now the fastest Supercomputer of the world
China's Tianhe-2 supercomputer, also called Milkyway-2, was revealed as the fastest super computer of the world by Ars Technica, the technology magazine on 17 June 2013. Recently measured at speeds of nearly 31 petaflops surpassing the current record holder US machine called Titan by 74 per cent. And the interesting thing is that it was not even running at its full capacity! According to Ars Technica, the fastest result was achieved using 90 per cent of the machine capacity. The stats come from a five-hour Linpack test using 14,336 nodes and 50 GB of memory of each node.Present record holder Titan is the Cray XK7 system-based at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the US.
Tianhe-2 achieved the processing speeds of 33.86 petaflops (1000 trillion calculations) per second on a benchmarking test. Scheduled to be installed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou before the end of this year, Tianhe-2 is being assembled and tested at China's National University for Defense Technology (NUDT). Once operational, Tianhe-2 "will provide an open platform for research and education and provide high performance computing service for southern China," Dongarra wrote, according to Ars Technica.
Almost all the parts of Tianhe-2 are developed in China, apart from the main processors which are designed by Intel, the US firm. The primary features of Tianhe-2 are also developed in China and these include the Operating System, interconnect, software as well as the front-end processors. The cost of this supercomputer is 100 million US dollar. The peak performance speed of this computer, according to National University of Defence Technology, is 54.9 quadrillion operations per second. It encompasses 16000 nodes, each with three Xeon Phi processors and two Intel Xeon Ivy Bridge processors, which gives it a combined total of 3120000 computing cores.
However, it is important to note that US is still leading in overall supercomputer rankings. 252 systems of US make it to the list of top 500 supercomputers of the world. The overall number of European machines is 112, while that of Asian machines is 119.
The Top 500 list is produced two times in a year. The supercomputers in this list are rated on the basis of their speed of performance in a benchmark test which is conducted by experts from US as well as Germany. Tianhe-2 is the follow-up to Tianhe-1, which was #1 in the world in November 2010 and ranked eighth in the most recent list, with a speed of 2.57 petaflops.