U.S. retakes top spot in Supercomputer race

Washington DC: The United States has regained a coveted speed crown in computing with a powerful new supercomputer in Tennessee, a milestone for the technology that plays a major role in science, medicine, and other fields.

Frontier, the name of the massive machine at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, was declared May 30 to be the first to demonstrate the performance of 1 quintillion operations per second — a billion billion calculations — in a set of standard tests used by researchers to rank supercomputers. The U.S. Department of Energy several years ago pledged $1.8 billion to build three systems with that “exascale” performance, as scientists call it.

Some experts believe that Frontier has been beaten in the exascale race by two systems in China. Operators of those systems have not submitted test results for evaluation by scientists who oversee the so-called Top500 ranking.

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