Chinese Supercomputer Threatens Weaker American Computers

A mainframe in China running a number of NVIDIA GPUs in parallel just hit 2.5 petaflops, a number that places it in the number one slot in the list of the world’s top 500 supercomputers. The Chinese machine, called Tianhe-1A, looks like it will be the fastest supercomputer for at least six months and experts are suggesting that we could see the waning of the great American supercomputing empire.

Writes the WSJ:

“It’s definitely a game-changer in the high performance market,” said Mark Seager, chief technology officer for computing at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. “This is a phase transition, representative of the shift of economic competitiveness from the West to the East.”

Strong words, Mark, but truer ones never spoken. Considering kids these days want to get famous on YouTube more than they want to increase the petaflops in a mainframe, I’d be surprised if our next official supercomputer was a store-bought Dell with a nice graphics card and speed stripes on the side.