China rises on TOP500 again

China and the United States are still battling for supercomputing supremacy, according to the 48th edition of the TOP500 list.

The list, which was published at the SC16 conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Monday, shows that both countries have 171 systems in the top 500 globally; together they account for around two thirds of the total.

China can still claim to be the pre-eminent country on the list, however, with the same systems in the Number 1 and Number 2 spots – Sunway TaihuLight, at 93 petaflops, and Tianhe-2, at 34 petaflops measured by their aggregate Linpack performance.

In terms of overall totals, China and the US are almost even in their aggregate Linpack performance. The US has 33.9 percent of the total, with China on 33.3 percent. The total performance of all 500 computers on the list is now 672 petaflops, a 60 per cent increase from a year ago.

Following the USA and China, Germany claims the most systems with 31, followed by Japan with 27, France with 20, and the UK with 13. In general terms, though, the list reflects the growth of supercomputing in China – just 12 months ago the USS was the clear leader with 200 systems, while China had 108, Japan had 37, Germany had 33, and both France and the UK had 18.

Systems with power greater than one petaflop now occupy the top 117 positions in the list – nearly 25 per cent of the TOP500 (12 months ago that number was 81. At the bottom of the list, the entry level system is now 349.3 teraflops, compared to 206.3 teraflops in November 2015.

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