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China leads supercomputing list

China retains top slot on TOP500 list, Saudi's Shaheen II drops to fifteenth

China leads supercomputing list
China and the US now account for two-thirds of the best performing supercomputers and HPC power in the world.

China has retained the top two positions on the latest ranking of the most powerful supercomputers in the world.

The semi-annual update to the Top500 list sees China's Sunway TaihuLight system, built using Sunway processors, retain the lead position, and the Tianhe-2 system, based on Intel Xeon hold on to the number two slot. The United States occupied the rest of the top five, while Saudi's King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) slipped from tenth to fifteenth.

The Sunway system recorded a peak performance of 93 petaflop/s (quadrillions of calculations per second) on the LINPACK benchmark, the test used for the Top500.org list.

The November 2016 ranking shows the US and China controlling two-thirds of the top 500 systems, with 171 HPC systems each. The leaders also share two-thirds of the systems on the list by computing power, with US systems accounting for 33.9% of the total against 33.3% for China.

KAUST's Shaheen II system, a Cray system running Xeon processors, ranked 15th on the list, with a peak performance of 5.53 petaflop/s.

The only other system from the Middle East that made the top 100 was Saudi Aramco's Makman 2, a Dell PowerEdge system that ranked 49th, with a LINPACK score of 2.25 petaflop/s.

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