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China’s Tianhe-2 remains world’s most powerful supercomputer

Tianhe-2, Chinese supercomputer, Chinese technology

China is experiencing a supercomputing boom.

中国正在经历一股超级计算热潮。

For the past two years, the country has been home to the world's most powerful supercomputer, the National University of Defense Technology's Tianhe-2 machine. But China's prowess at building supercomputers is becoming widespread.

过去两年中,中国已拥有全球最强大的超级计算机──国防科技大学的"天河二号"(Tianhe-2)超级计算机。中国构建超级计算机的技术能力正在国内广泛普及。

China now hosts 109 of the high-performance computing systems on a widely watched list of the world's most powerful supercomputers that was released Monday. The country had just 37 machines on the list only six months ago.

在16日公布的广受关注的全球最强大超级计算机名单中,中国目前已拥有109台高性能计算机。仅仅在六个月前,中国在该名单中还只有37台超级计算机。

The U.S. remains home to the largest number of supercomputers on the list, but with 200 machines, the U.S. tally has fallen to its lowest level since computer scientists began compiling the list, called the Top500, back in 1993.

美国仍然是该名单上拥有超级计算机最多的国家,但200台这一数字已让美国的持有量下跌至自1993年计算机科学家开始编制该世界500强名单以来的最低水平。

The U.S. is slipping on the Top500 list even as the country performs an unprecedented build-out of high-performance computing. Over the past decade, companies such as Alphabet Inc.'s Google, Amazon.com Inc. and Facebook Inc. have spent billions building massive data centers that operate as supercomputers for the Internet. These systems, however, aren't optimized for the type of calculations that the Top500 list's benchmarks test for.

美国在该名单上的排名正在下滑,即便美国正在史无前例地增建高性能计算机。过去10年中,诸如Alphabet 的谷歌、亚马逊公司、Facebook等公司均已花费数十亿美元资金建设作为互联网超级计算机的大规模数据中心。然而,这些系统所从事的计算工作,并不属于Top500榜单入围测试标准所针对的计算类型。

The results don't reflect so much a slowdown of U.S. supercomputing efforts as an acceleration of high-performance computing build-outs in China, said  Horst Simon, deputy director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

劳伦斯伯克利国家实验室的副主任西蒙表示,该结果更多反映了中国高性能计算机构建的加速,而非美国超级计算的努力的放缓。

"China has recognized the value of high-performance computing for modeling and simulation and has ramped up simulations and created a broad base of installations that is very competitive with the U.S.," Mr. Simon said.

西蒙说,"中国已认识到高性能计算在建模和模拟方面的价值,增大了计算机模拟,创建了广泛的基础设施,与美国形成了非常激烈的竞争。"

The Top500 results are important because they serve as a shorthand way of viewing international competitiveness in computer simulations. Originally used for scientific modeling in physics and chemistry, these systems are increasingly used to simulate consumer products—everything from automobiles to diapers.

世界500强的排名很重要,因为该榜单被视为快速查看计算机模拟领域国际竞争力的指标。超级计算机最初用于物理和化学领域的科学建模,如今正越来越贴近消费品,从汽车到尿布等消费品的建模,都能见到超级计算系统的影子。

Tianhe-2, which has been ranked the world's most powerful supercomputer since June 2013, is capable of performing 33.86 quadrillion calculations a second. The system ranked second on the list, Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Titan, can perform 17.59 quadrillion calculations a second.

自2013年6月以来,"天河二号"超级计算机一直位居该排行榜榜首位置,其浮点运算速度高达每秒33.86千万亿次。位于美国橡树岭国家实验室的泰坦超级计算机排名第二,浮点运算速度为每秒17.59千万亿次。

2016-06-23

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