To put it frankly, China has been absolutely killing the competition in the TOP500 supercomputer rankings for the last couple of years. Its Sunway TaihuLight has been sitting at the top of the pile well ahead of the Tianhe-2, another Chinese supercomputer. Now, the country is saying that it has a new computer which will be ready in 12 months.
The new Sunway exascale computer being developed by the National Supercomputer Center (NSC) and the National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering and Technology (NRCPC) will be able to execute a quintillion calculations per second, making it eight times faster than the Sunway TiahuLight, which scored 93 petaflops to make first place on the TOP500 list.
The new supercomputer has already gone into production in Jinan. Once completed, the new computer will support further research and scientific applications in fields including marine environments, biological information, aviation, and aerospace. As we get better supercomputers, computationally intensive tasks such as predicting the weather and climate change will become easier to perform and the results will be more accurate.
In November, we reported that Japan would be gunning for the top spot on the supercomputer rankings. The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry had planned to spend $173 million on developing a new supercomputer called ABCI or AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure. The country hopes that it can edge in front of China by scoring 130 petaflops on the Linpack benchmark. With the latest news from China, Japan might not have the opportunity to move ahead after all.