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China’s Tianhe-2 supercomputer destroys speed record to become fastest supercomputer on the planet

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Tianhe-2 supercomputer - light color changes indicating processor speed

The Cray Titan lost bragging rights this past week as China’s Tianhe-2 supercomputer clocked in at a silicon-scorching 30.65 petaflops (74% faster than Titan) making it the fastest supercomputer on the planet.  The feat was even more impressive given that Tianhe-2 was not even running at full capacity.  Theoretically it could hit 50 petaflops although <40 petafllops is more likely.  Tianhe-2 is built with Intel Ivy Bridge and Xeon Phi processors. There are 32,000 Intel Ivy Bridge Xeon sockets and 48,000 Xeon Phi boards for a total of 3,120,000 cores. It has storage of 12.4PB and memory totaling 1.4PB. Tianhe-2 runs Kylin Linux (yep, no Windows 8 here either).

Scheduled to arrive in the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou before the end of this year, Tianhe-2 is being assembled and tested at China’s National University for Defense Technology (NUDT). Once operational, Tianhe-2 “will provide an open platform for research and education and provide high performance computing service for southern China.”