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Wuxi-made supercomputer retains its throne as world's fastest


China's most notable supercomputer Sunway Taihu Light, housed at its east city Wuxi's National Supercomputer Center, has claimed top spot on a list of the world's fastest and most powerful computers for the third straight time.

ISC High Performance, an event evaluating high performance computing, networking and storage held in Frankfurt, Germany announced on June 19 that Sunway Taihu Light remains the world champion.

The supercomputer was first crowned in June last year, dethroning Guangzhou's Tianhe-2, according to TOP500's half-yearly rankings, while breaking the Guinness World Record for fastest supercomputer.

The Chinese research team from Wuxi's National Supercomputer Center demonstrated Sunway's innovative technology and applied achievements as the first Chinese supercomputer to consist of entirely domestically-manufactured components.

Developed by the National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology (NRCPC), Sunway Taihu Light is capable of performing 93 petaflops/s (quadrillions of calculations per second), with a peak speed of 125.4 petaflops/s.

After a year of operation, the supercomputer has made great strides in helping boost the nation's many computing applications covering some 19 fields including weather forecasting, advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and big data analysis.

The research project "10M-Core Scalable Fully-Implicit Solver for Nonhydrostatic Atmospheric Dynamics" which employs high performance computing to understand weather patterns, won the 2016 ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Gordon Bell Prize, dubbed the Nobel Prize in the field of supercomputing.

It was the first time for a Chinese team to win the award since its establishment in 1987, giving exposure to China's outstanding achievements in high-performance computing.

According to Fu Haohuan, deputy director of Wuxi's National Supercomputer Center and associate professor of Tsinghua University, two of Sunway's new computing applications have already made it as this year's ACM Gordon Bell finalists – one for weather research and another for earthquake simulation.

The winners will be announced at the 2017 Supercomputing Conference which takes place in November.

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