China Discovers World's Fastest Supercomputer

The United States no longer holds the world's fastest supercomputer.

A computer called Tianhe-1A, unveiled at a conference in Beijing, China, can run calculations faster than the earlier speed leader, a computer at a U.S. lab in Tennessee.

The new computer set a presentation record by crunching 2.507 petaflops of data at once. The earlier leader, a computer called Cray XT5 Jaguar and located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, completed 1.75 petaflop calculations.

Analysts say the innovative record underscores China's place as a global tech leader.

According to Nvidia, the computer technology company, the world's fastest computer will be operated as an open contact system and will be used for large scale scientific computations.

Supercomputers, which basically are many computers strung and networked together, fill entire rooms and even small warehouses. They are often used to processes vast amounts of scientific data. Climate models, for example, are run using the supercomputing power that can be seen in U.S. national labs.
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