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The Speedy Ones

Most of the world's 500 fastest supercomputers can be found in China, BBC News reports.

The newest Top500 survey, which ranks the most powerful supercomputers, includes 202 systems in China. The US comes in second with 143 systems, while Japan and Germany round out the top four slots with 35 and 20 systems, respectively, the BBC adds.

The fastest two supercomputers in the world remain China's Sunway TaihuLight system and its Tianhe-2, followed by Switzerland's Piz Daint, Gyoukou in Japan, and Titan in the US. Titan has been pushed down a position by the Gyoukou system since the previous iteration of the list came out in June.

BBC News notes that China has also likely overtaken the US in aggregate performance as China accounts for 35.4 percent of the list's processing power, while the US accounts for 29.6 percent of it. 

Top500's Erich Strohmaier tells the BBC that many of the Chinese systems were created so that their processing power could be rented out. He adds that there are two main reasons for developing such systems: "One is simply the prestige attached with [being in the lead] in a market that used to be a prime example of US technology dominance," he says. "The other is to do with scientific exploration and national security."

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