China still remains in the lead, at least when it comes to technologies. The nation recently won top spot for fastest supercomputer thanks to its Tianhe-2 computer.

The machine, which is actually Chinese for Milky Way, was initially developed by the country’s National University of Defence Technology. The computer operates at 33.86 petaflops per second which is actually the equivalent of 33,860 quadrillion calculations per second. It is also reported to make an update to increase the system’s speed to over 100 Plops/s.

China Tianhe-2

U.S. wants to take the lead

China’s most recent win comes at a time when the United States is renewing the efforts to build a faster computer which will overtake it. Last week it was announced the US plans on spending $325 million to build two supercomputers which will be three to five times faster than the Tianhe-2 system. University of Tennessee professor Jack Dongarra explained, “The (US) systems will be operational in 2018. It’s just a coincidence.”

The Titan super computer (which was installed at Department of Education’s Oak Ridge National Labratory) sits at Number 2 while Sequoia sits at third spot. The Sequoia was installed at DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Labratory. Dongarra added, “These machines in the top 10 are very expensive and provide extreme computing power. Perhaps we have enough computing power for the moment and not enough funding for the next generation just now.”

U.S. and China have the most supercomputers

The United States remains the top country with the most supercomputers with a total of 231. Other countries trailing the lead include China, Japan, Britain, France, and Germany.

Most of the computers in the top 10 of this year’s list were the same as last years, but there is one new computer on this year’s list. The new machine is a Cray supercomputer and it is located at an undisclosed site that belongs to the United States government. The Cray computer actually had quite a bump in this 500 list thanks to 62 total systems on the current list, 11 more than last summer.