Briefing: China has the most supercomputers, output lags US

By Miles Goscha
1 min read

ISC 2019- China Leads in Supercomputers – Pandaily

What happened: Hosted in Frankfurt, Germany, the 2019 ISC High Performance conference announced the 53rd list of the world’s “Top500” supercomputers. Every six months, the Top500 project releases a list of the 500 most powerful commercially available computer systems in the world. China has the most supercomputers on the list with 219, the fourth consecutive time it has topped the list in number of machines. Quantity does not equal quality, though: the United States leads in terms of performance, with 38.4% of total computational output versus China’s 22.9%.

Why it’s important: Despite disparities between individual countries’ performance outputs, a closer look at the list reveals how significantly supercomputing as a field has progressed. For the first time in Top500’s history, all systems are capable of delivering a petaflop or more on the High Performance Linpack (HPL) benchmark. The most powerful Chinese computer is the National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology’s (NRCPC) Sunway TaihuLight, which was once the world’s most powerful but is now third on the list behind IBM’s Summit and Sierra. It clocks in at 93.0 petaflops.