U.S. regains top-500 crown with Summit supercomputer, China plans to win back the title in 2020

U.S. Summit supercomputer.

The U.S. Summit supercomputer overtook China’s Sunway TaihuLight, becoming the world’s fastest computer of its kind, said the latest World’s 500 Fastest Supercomputers ranking.

The biannual ranking, released on Monday, said that the Summit has a sustained theoretical performance of 122.3 petaflops on the High Performance Linpack (HPL) test, with a transient maximum of 187.7.

“Summit” is going to have a profound impact in energy research, scientific discovery, economic competitiveness and national security, said U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry. It will be open to select projects this year, and a number of applicants have already registered for the program.

China’s Tianhe-2 supercomputer.

However, China’s new generation of supercomputer, Tianhe-3, which is expected to be ready by 2020, will probably get China back on top of the list. The prototype of the new supercomputer debuted at the 2nd World Intelligence Congress in north China’s Tianjin this May.

Tianhe-3 is expected to be the world’s first exascale supercomputer, or E-class supercomputer. Exascale supercomputers will play a major role in dealing with common challenges such as energy shortage, pollution and climate change.

Sierra, a new system at the DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, took third place, delivering 71.6 petaflops on HPL. It was followed by China’s Tianhe-2 and Japan’s AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure (ABCI) system.