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China challenges the US and the world with the second fastest supercomputer ever 2010-Jun-01 at 00:40 PDT

Posted by Scott Arbeit in Blog.
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Chinese Supercomputer Is Ranked World’s Second-Fastest, Challenging U.S. Dominance, by John Markoff, 31-May-2010

The Dawning Nebulae, based at the National Supercomputing Center in Shenzhen, China, has achieved a sustained computing speed of 1.27 petaflops — the equivalent of one thousand trillion mathematical operations a second — in the latest semiannual ranking of the world’s fastest 500 computers.

And they have an even faster one coming in the fall.

But China appears intent on challenging American dominance. There had been some expectation that China would make an effort to complete a system based on Chinese-designed components in time for the June ranking. The Nebulae is based on chips from Intel and Nvidia.

The new system, which is based on a microprocessor that has been designed and manufactured in China, is now expected later this year. A number of supercomputing industry scientists and engineers said that it was possible that the new machine would claim the title of world’s fastest.

If you think this is fast… well, you probably already own a computer capable of tens of gigaflops right now.  Even at a modest rate of doubling of speed like every five years, you’ll own a computer this fast in less than fifteen years, and your mobile device/phone will be this powerful in less than twenty years.

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