China creates world’s fastest supercomputer

supercomputer Pictures, Images and Photos

I recently read an interesting article on CNBC.com (click here to read it) that discussed China’s achievement in surpassing the U.S. by creating the world’s fastest supercomputer. The U.S. has held that title since 2004 and for a long time before that. Japan held that title for a couple years in 2002-2004 but the U.S. came back and blew past them. Time will tell if they react the same way to competition from China now.

Holding the title of country with the fastest supercomputer is one that is not only good for national pride. It actually attracts business as many of the largest companies in the world from a range of industries use these machines for various tasks. It also helps to bring in the best minds to work for the research center(s) that develop these machines. The future is likely to be based on what we call supercomputers today, which, in the future will probably only be called computers. This underscores the importance for the U.S. to invest in R&D to try to reclaim their title and keep enhancing it.

The fact that China currently has the world’s fastest supercomputer doesn’t mean that they are the best country in the world for computer technology. In fact, the computer chips used in this computer are reported to be made by Intel and Nvidia which are both American companies. There are also some experts that say that this supercomputer has yet to prove itself as a capable machine for companies to use for real tasks that they need it for. The American supercomputers are depended on by these companies and that is a big distinction between the two countries at the moment. Also, as I mentioned at the top, Japan briefly held the title a few years ago and it did not make them the best in the world when it comes to computer technology either.

What this does mean however, is that China is a real player in this field and if the countries that have been superpowers in it all this time do not get their act together then China could surpass them for good. I am talking here about the U.S., Japan and Europe to some extent. The U.S. especially has a lot to lose because they are the leader in the industry and can not afford to be number 2. Even though they have debt problems right now, they need to keep and possibly increase their investments in this field because their future is on the line.