• China's computer scientists inspect the Tianhe-2 supercomputer, which has been beaten by the new Sunway TaihuLight

China's computer scientists inspect the Tianhe-2 supercomputer, which has been beaten by the new Sunway TaihuLight (Photo : YouTube / TechnoPluz)

China has now taken the lead in the supercomputing industry as they now have more supercomputers than the United States with their new Sunway TaihuLight machine that has a theoretical top speed of 125 petaflops.

Top500, who compiles the rankings of supercomputers twice every year, has revealed that the China-made Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer is more than two times as powerful as the previous recordholder. It is located in the Chinese Supercomputing Center located in the Jiuangsu province.

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What made the achievement more impressive is that the Sunway TaihuLight is made from China's own chips without relying on existing architecture from Intel, the Wall Street Journal has learned. China has also outranked the U.S in terms of the number of supercomputing machines on the Top500 list with 167 to 165, respectively.

That seems to be an incredible leap from 2001 when China had no supercomputers on the list. They have also outranked themselves as the previous top position was also held by the country with their Tianhe-2 supercomputer which was built upon the U.S.-based Intel's architecture.

The U.S. Congress is also nearly finished in passing legislation that would help speed up the development of an even more powerful supercomputer by 2023. However, computer scientist Jack Dongarra from the University of Tennessee said that the U.S. won't have a supercomputer that would be able to beat the current champion until 2018.

China's Sunway TaihuLight is powered byt the SW26010 processor that was designed by the Shanghai High Performance IC Design Center, Bloomberg reported. It is also claimed that the machine is more efficient in consuming power.

The supercomputing machine has more than 40,000 chips that contains 10.65 million processor cores in 40 cabinets. Meanwhile, the fastest supercomputer from the U.S. only has about 560,000 cores in total.

Intel has not commented yet regarding the amazing feat that China has done. NVIDIA, on the other hand, just revealed their new Tesla GP100 supercomputing GPU which packs more computing power than their previous Maxwell architecture.

The U.S. will have to double their efforts if they want to beat the Sunway TaihuLight's supercomputing prowess. It is not known whether the architecture China used will be shared with the U.S. but it would be least likely considering that Intel was banned from exporting more chips in order to upgrade their Tianhe-2 supercomputer last year.