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Where Will You Find the World’s Fastest Linux Supercomputer?

Fastest Linux Supercomputer TaihuLight
Written by Modou Sarr

TOP500 provides two yearly rankings using the Linpack benchmark. It ranks computer systems based on their ability to solve linear equations and only supercomputers that can actually solve them make it to the list.

Contrary to what a lot of people would think. The world’s most powerful super computer is not in some ultra high security facility in Silicon Valley nope, it’s actually in China! In fact the US holds the 3rd and 4th positions most powerful computers in the world rankings. China claims the two top spots.

China’s Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer is twice as fast and three times as efficient as the Tianhe-2, its predecessor; it boasts processing speeds of 93 petaflops and 93,000 trillion calculations per second.

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The TaihuLight runs on RaiseOS 2.0.5 which is its own operating System. It is Linux based and has a customized version of OpenACC2.0 for code parallelization.

Other than that it uses pretty standard components such as C/C++ and Fortran made compatible with the standard ShenWei design much of whose development has been used in older processors.

It costs 1.8billion Yuan about 270 million USD to build.

China making its mark as a serious Supercomputer producer

Another interest fact about the TaihuLight which is based at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, is that it is the first most powerful computer in the world at any one time made entirely using Chinese chips unlike its predecessor which used Intel designed chips.

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This effective erases all doubts that China can effectively compete at the highest levels of supercomputing without relying on western technology. Its uses include advance data analytics, engineering, climate and whether research and also manufacturing.

According to Guangwen Yang, the director of the Wuxi Center,

“the Sunway TaihuLight system demonstrates the significant progress that China has made in the domain of designing and manufacturing large-scale computation systems.”

Apart from claiming the top spot, this is the first time China has over-taken the US with the most amount of Supercomputers in the TOP500 rankings of supercomputers in the world with 167 supercomputers to in china165 of the US since the creating of the rankings list in 1993.

According to TOP500 List:

“Considering that just 10 years ago China claimed a mere 28 systems on the list, with none ranked in the top 30, the nation has come further and faster than any other country in the history of supercomputing,” 

Other notable mentions in the top 10 include Switzerland, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Japan, but 4 of the 10 most powerful supercomputers are in the USA which means the US still dominates the Top 10.

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About the author

Modou Sarr

Modou Sarr is from the Gambia West Africa, he loves to read write and is an avid sportsman. He studied International Development studies and also Law and hopes to one day own a successful eCommerce business.