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Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

China Leapfrogs ­.S. in Supercomputer Deployments

Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Summit, the world's fastest supercomputer.

China has more than twice the number of domestic supercomputer installations that the U.S. has.

Credit: Carlos Jones/Oak Ridge National Laboratory/U.S. Dept. of Energy

The latest iteration of the biannual Top500 ranking found China has increased its domestic supercomputer installations to more than twice the number found in the U.S., with 227 Chinese deployments versus 109 in the U.S.

China's global sales of its Lenovo supercomputers also rose significantly, with American companies outside the U.S. among that firm’s largest clients.

Top Chinese supercomputer researcher Depei Qian outlined the goals for China's first exaflop-capable supercomputer, with three prototypes currently deployed and expected to be operational in two to three years.

The U.S., in comparison, is constructing only one such system on the grid, at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DoE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

The U.S. still has the fastest supercomputers on the Top500, with ORNL's IBM Summit at the top of the ranking, and IBM’s Sierra machine at DoE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the number-two slot ahead of two Chinese systems.

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