New supercomputer champion doubles speed record

New supercomputer champion doubles speed record

The world has a new fastest computer -- and it leaves the former champion in the dust.

The Sunway TaihuLight, based at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, China, can perform 93 quadrillion operations per second.

That's 93 million billion, or 93,000,000,000,000,000 -- also known as 93 petaflops.

"Sunway TaihuLight, with 10,649,600 computing cores comprising 40,960 nodes, is twice as fast and three times as efficient as Tianhe-2," Top500, which ranks the world's supercomputers, said in a statement.

Tianhe-2, also in China, held the previous record for three years -- a relatively leisurely 33 petaflops.

While Tianhe-2 used Intel processors, Sunway TaihuLight runs 10 million Chinese-made cores -- your computer at home probably only has four or eight.

Top500 said the United States' embargo of high-end processors to China may have backfired, with the Chinese-designed and made ShenWei processors on a par with US-based Intel's newest 'Knights Landing' chip range.

Despite its power, Sunway TaihuLight is more efficient than Tianhe-2, using about an eighth less energy at full power.

It cost about $380 million to develop and build.

The third-fastest computer is a Titan Cray XK7, based at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, United States. It runs at 17 petaflops.

New supercomputer champion doubles speed record

The Sunway TaihuLight (Jack Dongorra / University of Tennessee)

For the first time, China has more computers in the top 500 than the United States, with 167.

Other countries with computers in the top 10 are Japan, Switzerland, Germany and Saudi Arabia.