New entry expected in supercomputer top 10

A Chinese computer is expected to take its place among the ten most powerful supercomputers for the first time later this month when the rankings are officially updated, according to a Taiwanese motherboard maker.

The computer, Dawning Information Industry's TC4000A, is a cluster of 2,560 Opteron 800 series processors from Advanced Micro Devices(AMD) contained in 640 nodes of four processors each.

The TC4000A, which was built earlier this year for the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has been shown in benchmark tests to process up to 10 trillion floating-point operations per second (TFLOPS), according to Patrick Wang, associate vice president of Tyan Computer, which provided the motherboards used in the computer and has worked closely with Dawning.

That level of performance would rank the TC4000A the ninth most powerful computer in the world, based on the current ranking of the world's top 500 supercomputers maintained by the U.S. National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, the University of Tennessee and the University of Mannheim, in Germany.

Currently, the highest ranked Chinese supercomputer is Lenovo Group's DeepComp 6200, which is also owned by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The Itanium 2-based DeepComp 1800 ranks 14th on the list of the top 500 supercomputers.

The updated ranking of the world's fastest supercomputers will be announced at the International Supercomputer Conference to be held in Heidelberg, Germany, from June 22-25.

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