Supercomputer Current Affairs - 2020

China’s Sunway Taihulight wins fastest supercomputer title

China’s ‘Sunway Taihulight’ has won the fastest supercomputer title in the recently released 48th edition of Top500 list of supercomputers.

With this, Chinese supercomputer has retained the top spot in the list of the world’s fastest supercomputers for the eighth consecutive year.

In this list, the number of systems installed in China had increased to 171 from 168 on last list released in June 2016. United States also now has 171 systems up from 165 in previous list.

About Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer

  • Sunway TaihuLight is built entirely using processors designed and made in China. It had made its first public appearance in June 2016.
  • It was developed by the China’s National Research Centre of Parallel Computer Engineering and Technology (NRCPC).
  • It can perform 93 quadrillions calculations per second (petaflop/s) almost three times as fast as Tianhe-2.
  • In June 2016, TaihuLight had dethroned the former fastest supercomputer Tianhe-2, also a Chinese system but built based on Intel chips.
  • Prior to its introduction, Tianhe-2 had claimed top spot in Top500 list for past three years.
  • TaihuLight is intended for use in research and engineering including climate, weather, life sciences, advanced manufacturing and data analytics.

Other supercomputers in Top500 list

  • Second position: An Intel-based Chinese Tianhe-2 supercomputer which can perform calculations with processing speed of 33.86 Pflops.
  • Third position: Supercomputer Titan of the US Department of Energy (DOE). It has a performance of 17.59 Pflops.
  • Fourth position: IBM Sequoia Supercomputer system installed at US DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
  • Fifth position: The Cori supercomputer. It is a new system installed at US Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. It has a performance of 14.0 petaflop/s.

Top500 list of Supercomputers

Top500 list is considered one of the most authoritative rankings of the world’s supercomputers. It is compiled on the basis of the supercomputers’ performance on the Linpack benchmark by experts from the United States and Germany


In the 47th edition of list released in June 2016, China had overtaken US in the number of total supercomputers installed. That was the first time that US has not dominated this category since the list was started 23 years ago. It indicates the rise of China in the high performance computing (HPC) field.

Tianhe-2: World’s powerful Supercomputer for the sixth consecutive time

China’s Tianhe-2 supercomputer has emerged as the world’s most powerful supercomputer system for the sixth consecutive time. It was unveiled in 46th edition of Top500 list of supercomputers.

Key facts from the list

  • The Chinese Supercomputer is capable of performing calculations with processing speed of 33.86 petaflops per second (Pflop/s). It has held the title since June 2013.
  • Supercomputer Titan of the US Department of Energy has been placed at second position. It has a performance of 17.59 Pflop/s.
  • Supercomputer Sequoia of Tech giant IBM was placed at third position. It has processing speed of 17.17 Pflop/s.
  • K computer of Fujitsu was placed at fourth position. It has processing speed of 10.51 Pflop/s.
  • Supercomputer Mira of IBM placed at fifth position. It has processing speed of 8.58 Pflop/s.

About Tianhe-2

  • Supercomputer Tianhe-2 or Milky Way 2 has been developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology.
  • It has processing speeds of 33.86 petaflops (1000 trillion calculations) per second.
  • Presently, it is deployed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou and is playing important role in boosting China’s capabilities in both scientific and defence fields.

The Top500 list: It is one of the most authoritative and prestigious rankings list of the world’s supercomputers published biannually. The list is compiled on the basis of the performance of supercomputers by experts from the US and Germany based on the Linpack benchmark.