Supercomputers, which are up to a million times faster than the typical desktop PC, are still staples in the data warehouses of national laboratories and universities in the US, Japan and Western Europe.
But over the last few years, the falling cost of supercomputer systems has allowed a broader range of corporations and institutions, including many in China to buy them for everything from processing movie graphics to searching for oil.
Just 18 months ago, China and India lacked a single system among the 25 fastest in the world. But in the latest list released on Monday of the 500 fastest computers, China nailed the No. 10 spot, standing as the only nation other than the US in the top 10. India, meanwhile, had the 13th-fastest machine, beating Japan, a longtime leader.
China now claims 15 of the world’s 500 fastest computers. That makes it the top-ranking supercomputing country outside the US, Western Europe and Japan.
The presence of supercomputers in emerging nations like China and India says as much about those countries’ growing national ambitions as the changing state of science and business.
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Source: Taipei Times
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