On Monday, at the International Supercomputer Conference in Hamburg, China’s supercomputer, the Dawning Nebulae, surpassed Europe and Japan by becoming the world’s second fastest machine. Based in Shenzhen, at the National Supercomputing Center, the supercomputer operates at a speed of 1.27 petaflops (think one thousand trillion mathematical operations a second). Although the fastest in theoretical peak performance, the Nebulae still lags behind the Cray Jaguar supercomputer in Tennessee, which measures at 1.75 petaflops.
And even if it was the biggest and best supercomputer, it still doesn’t quite reach the computing might of the U.S. The BBC has created an interactive infograph depicting all 500 supercomputers by country in proportion to their speed. Certainly puts things in perspective – while China is making huge gains, they’ve still got quite a bit of a ways to go!