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Definition: supercomputer sites

A compilation of the 500 most powerful computers and their installations was started in 1993 and is updated twice a year. Created to track high-performance computing systems and detect trends, the TOP500 uses the Linpack benchmark to rank the computers. To view the list, which includes system specifications, visit www.top500.org.

In 2008, IBM's Roadrunner was the first computer to exceed one petaFLOPS (see Roadrunner). In 2010, China's Tianhe-1A supercomputer claimed the top speed with 2.4 petaFLOPS. Meaning "Milky Way," the Tianhe-1A was built with 14,336 Intel CPUs and 7,168 NVIDIA GPUs, along with a Chinese-developed interconnect to achieve 2.4 quadrillion floating point calculations per second (FLOPs).

Ten Million Processing Cores
In 2016, China's Sunway TaihuLight used 40,960 Chinese ShenWei RISC processors, each containing 256 cores, to achieve 93 petaFLOPS (125 at peak performance). See petaFLOPS and supercomputer.