Supercomputer upgraded in Switzerland surpasses US as third most powerful

An Overview of the Supercomputer Systems Race

For the past 24 years, the United States has only been taken out of the top three supercomputer systems twice. For a majority of these past decades, they have maintained the third position.

A recent upgrade to a Swiss supercomputer has moved the the US Department of Energy’s Cray XK7 to the fourth spot on the list that rates these machines. This would make it the first time in nearly a two decades that it has been bumped down.

The current top two are held by two of China’s supercomputers.


The New Holder of the Listing

    The Piz Daint system, which is installed at Switzerland’s national supercomputer center, was upgraded from a extreme power of 9.8 petaflops to 19.6. The power of the machine has almost doubled.

A single petaflop is capable of 1,000,000,000,000,000 operations per second. This means this computer capable of running 19.6 thousand trillion operations per second. Each “flop” can be thought of as a point of calculation.This in turn is part of a computers ability to process information and complete tasks.


What We Know About the Future

The United States still holds most of the machines on the list, they are a lot larger in number than they are in individual power. The US currently holds five of the machines on the list.
The Oak Ridge National Laboratory says it hopes to reach the top 3 again later this year. It comes with anticipations of a 100 petaflop system being created for the US.

This would surpass Chinas top machine which currently runs at 93 petaflops.

The supercomputer race has surely begun between all the power countries, what will we see next?

Everyone wants to be the top dog at number one on the list, however only one will be powerful enough to retain that title.

Where there is a world of overwhelming technological advancement, there is several complications.

Technology is so widespread today, countries may find themselves changing the way we view computing entirely.

Needless to say, we may see being number one become old news. A lot of nations are going to discover some new technical innovation that can change everything. The question remains what nation will take number one next?

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