Visualize the race to build the world’s fastest supercomputers | New infographics

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Among the 10 fastest supercomputers in the world, five are located in the United States, two in China and one in Japan, Germany and Italy.

They are the most powerful machines on Earth, used in everything from researching the best treatments for the coronavirus to discovering the origins of the universe.

Capable of performing quadrillions (the number represented by a trail of 15 zeros) of calculations per second, supercomputers are at the heart of the global race for technology and information, particularly fierce between China and the United States. .

How is IT performance measured?

Inside every cell phone, laptop, and desktop computer is a central processing unit, or CPU, often referred to as the brain of a computer.

While a typical computer might have a processor with one to 16 cores – individual processing units – a supercomputer might contain thousands or even millions of cores, each allowing them to perform very specialized computing operations.

The speed of a supercomputer is determined by the number of arithmetic calculations it can perform in one second – called FLOPs (floating point operations per second).

Advances in computing power mean that speed is now measured in teraFLOPs (trillions) and petaFLOPs (quadrillions) of operations per second. To put that into context, an iPhone 11 is at least six times faster than the world’s fastest supercomputer in 1993.

(Al Jazeera)

The most powerful supercomputers in the world

According to Top500which ranks computers around the world, as of November 2021, the Fugaku supercomputer located at the RIKEN Center for Computational Science in Kobe, Japan, is the fastest supercomputer in the world.

The billion-dollar power plant has 7,630,848 cores, consumes 29,899 kilowatts of energy and has peaked at 442,010 teraFLOPs.

Fugaku has at least three times the processing power of the world’s second fastest computer known as the Summit – a system built by IBM at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee, USA, which measured 148,600 TFLOPs.

Among the 10 fastest supercomputers in the world, five are located in the United States, two in China and one in Japan, Germany and Italy.

INTERACTIVE - The most powerful supercomputers in the world(Al Jazeera)

The race to build the world’s fastest supercomputers (1993-2021)

Since 1993, the computing power of supercomputers has increased from 124 GFLOPs to 442,010 TFLOPs, a 3.5 million times increase.

For most of the 1990s and 2000s, the United States and Japan competed to claim the title of world’s fastest supercomputer. However, in 2010, China overtook Japan and the United States for the first time with the introduction of Tianhe-1A, a 2,566 TFLOP system built with Intel processors.

The main uses of supercomputers

Supercomputers are excellent at solving complex problems in many areas.

By total computing power in TFLOPs, the world’s supercomputers are primarily used in scientific research (1,533,466 TFLOPs), industrial applications (762,172 TFLOPs), and academia (376,594 TFLOPs).

INTERACTIVE - The main uses of supercomputers(Al Jazeera)

What are the top tech companies?

Supercomputer market expected to grow from $37.8 billion in 2020 to $49.4 billion by 2025, market research firm says Technavio.

The world’s largest manufacturer of supercomputers is Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). The Houston, Texas-based multinational company has at least 84 supercomputers in operation with a combined output of 564,245 TFLOPs. In 2021, 149 of the world’s 500 most powerful supercomputers were based in the United States.

The second largest supercomputer maker in the world is Japan’s Fujitsu with a combined output of 548,646 of its 14 supercomputers.

In third place is Lenovo. The Chinese technology company has a combined output of 459,463 from its 180 supercomputers. In 2021, 173 of the top 500 supercomputers were based in China.

INTERACTIVE - The main manufacturers of supercomputers(Al Jazeera)
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