Big Data

Photos: The world's fastest supercomputers

1. ​Sunway TaihuLight - China (New entrant)

The brand new Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer is three times faster than the previous reigning champ, the Tianhe-2.

Sitting within the National Supercomputing Center in the city of Wuxi, the Chinese system will aid research and engineering work, ranging from climate modelling to advanced manufacturing.

Unlike the Intel-powered Tianhe-2, previously the fastest supercomputer in the world, the machine relies heavily on Chinese technology, utilising a new ShenWei processor and custom interconnect made in Wuxi.

The TaihuLight has 40,960 64-bit, RISC processors, each of which has 260 cores. Together these 1.45 GHz SW26010 processors have a peak performance equivalent to 125 petaflops (quadrillion floating point operations per second) -- 93 petaflops in the Linpack benchmark. Each compute node has 32GB DDR3 memory, for 1.3 PB across the whole machine. The TaihuLight runs the Linux-based Sunway Raise OS and drew 15.4MW when benchmarked, less than the 17.8MW of the Tianhe-2.

Image: Jack Dongarra

By Nick Heath

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.