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Ranking the Most Powerful Supercomputers

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2010 Countries By Total Peak Supercomputing Processor Power

Many Eyes

At the 2010 International Supercomputing Conference researchers announced the annual list of the world's most powerful supercomputers, noting that China now has the world's second most powerful supercomputer, and is well positioned to overtake the United States for the number one slot.

But more important than whether or not a particular country has the world's "biggest iron" is whether or not scientists have access to and support in using the country's supercomputing infrastructure. In other words, while the bragging rights that come with owning the world's fastest supercomputer are substantial, the total (and per capita) access to high performance computing resources is a better measure of how prepared a country is to leverage this kind of computing power for innovation and national defense, argues John West of insideHPC.

To get an idea where the world's countries stand under such a measure, here's a visual representation of the total peak theoretical performance (Rpeak) of all of the supercomputers possessed by a country, as of 2010, via this nifty Many Eyes visualization of the list of the world's top supercomputers. Compare it to 2009.

From Technology Review
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