Since 2013, Chinese machines have occupied the number one slot in rankings of the world’s most powerful supercomputers. Now America is back on top again. Engineers at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee have just unveiled Summit, a supercomputer with enough processing power to surpass the current record holder, China’s Sunway TaihuLight.
The new machine is capable, at peak performance, of 200 petaflops—200 million billion calculations a second. To put that in context, everyone on earth would have to do a calculation every second of every day for 305 days to crunch what the new machine can do in the blink of an eye. Summit is 60 percent faster than the TaihuLight and almost eight times as fast as a machine called Titan, which is also housed at Oak Ridge and held the US supercomputing speed record until Summit’s arrival.
Image: Server racks in the Summit supercomputer. OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY