Innovation

Video: The world's top 5 supercomputers

Have you ever wondered how powerful supercomputers today are? Here are the world's top five, and what they're capable of.

We often hear people call phones a "supercomputer in your pocket" or talk about an old Cray or Wang as having less computing power than your laptop.

Has it ever made you stop and wonder how powerful supercomputers today must be?

Well, twice a year since 1993, TOP500 has ranked the world's supercomputers.

Here are the top five:

5. Cori, at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center. Cori enjoys global climate modeling and and long walks on the multi-scale ocean simulation. Cori peaks at 27,880.7 teraflops.

4. Sequoia, at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. This former number one still has a lot of heart — a model of the electrophysiology of the human heart to be precise. Sequoia peaks at 20,132.7 teraflops.

3. Titan, at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This Oak Ridge boy does love molecular physics but that won't stop it from dabbling in a light water reactor from time to time or finding some time to relax under a gravitational tree code for simulation galaxies. Titan peaks at 27,112.5 teraflops.

2. Tianhe-2, or TH2 for short, was number one until June 2016. TH2 has a reputation for being a little difficult, but you can't argue it isn't fast. It has a serious side too, being concerned with security and defense. TH2 peaks at 54,902.4 teraflops.

1. Sunway TaihuLight. It's not just fast it's also energy-efficient! And it can take almost any application you throw at it— at scale. Sunway TaihuLight peaks at 135,435.9 teraflops.

Someday we'll have an implanted eyeball that is more powerful than the Sunway TaihuLight. Imagine what will be on the top supercomputer list then!

For more about the world's top supercomputers, check out this TechRepublic gallery: The top 20 supercomputers in the world.


Also see:
D-Wave quantum computers: The smart person's guide
Photos: World's earliest computers restored to their prime
Elon Musk-backed OpenAI Project will get first 'deep learning supercomputer in a box'
The Machine by Hewlett Packard Enterprise: The smart person's guide

About Tom Merritt

Tom is an award-winning independent tech podcaster and host of regular tech news and information shows. Tom hosts Sword and Laser, a science fiction and fantasy podcast, and book club with Veronica Belmont. He also hosts Daily Tech News Show, coverin...

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