China and the US will likely continue to compete for the fastest supercomputer title from 2018 to 2020 and Chinese ones will maintain their numeric advantage over their US counterparts among the top 500, Chinese experts said.
The latest issue of the World's Top 500 fastest supercomputers shows the number of Chinese supercomputers is the most in its history, while the number of US supercomputers is the lowest since the list was first published 25 years ago, according to the Top 500 news team's website.
The biannual ranking of the world's 500 fastest supercomputers published Monday shows China's Sunway TaihuLight successfully defending its title as the top system for the fourth time, with a performance of 93.01 petaflops, followed by China's Tianhe-2.
The Sunway TaihuLight is based at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, East China's Jiangsu Province.
Wang Qiong, director of the center's promotion and training department, told the Global Times on Tuesday in a statement that the world's fastest supercomputer, which has installed a variety of commercial software, focuses on weather and climate, astronomy and new energy and provides computing and engineering services such as big-data processing and cloud computing.
Wang added that the Sunway TaihuLight is the world's first supercomputer with a peak performance of over 100 petaflops.
The Intel chip-based Tianhe-2 had topped the list for three years until being displaced in November 2015 by TaihuLight, which was built using processors designed and made in China, according to the Top 500 website.
The 50th issue of the ranking also shows that China has overtaken the US in the total number of ranked systems by a margin of 202 to 143. Just six months ago, the US led China, 169 to 160.
"It is the largest number of supercomputers China has ever claimed on the Top 500 ranking, with US presence shrinking to its lowest level since the list's inception 25 years ago," Top 500 said.
China is likewise ahead of the US in terms of aggregate performance. China now claims 35.4 percent of the Top 500 flops, with the US in second at 29.6 percent.
Analysts said that there will be a leadership race between China and the US from 2018 to 2020. And US supercomputers will likely move on top while China will maintain its numeric advantage.
Zhang Yunquan, secretary general of the High Performance Computing Committee of the China Computer Federation, told the Global Times that TaihuLight is likely to reclaim the title by the first half of next year, but it will be overtaken by US ones by the end of 2018, as there will be at least three from the US which will perform faster than 150 petaflops, or even 200 petaflops.
Zhang said there is no plan to update the TaihuLight performance just yet, so the US supercomputers are likely to return to the top by the second half of 2018.