World’s Leading Supercomputer Created in China

August 31, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. homegrown /ˈhoʊmˈgroʊn/ (adj.) – created or developed in one’s country
Example: The Australian car manufacturer builds their cars from homegrown parts.

2. dominate /ˈdɒm əˌneɪt/ (v.) – to be larger in quantity, number, or importance
Example: In many cases, tall men dominate basketball.

3. processor /ˈprɒs ɛs ər or/ (n.) – the part of a computer that carries out all of its operations
Example: Your computer needs a faster processor to be able to run that game.

4. specialized /ˈspeSHəˌlīzd/ (adj.) – designed for a specific purpose or use
Example: It is a specialized clinic for pregnant women.

5. massive /ˈmæs ɪv/ [MAS-iv] (adj.) – very large in size
Example: The mansions in Los Angeles are massive.


Read the text below.
China’s Sunway TaihuLight is now the world’s most powerful supercomputer.

A homegrown Chinese supercomputer called Sunway TaihuLight ranked first on Top500’s official list of the fastest supercomputers in the world. According to Top500, an organization that curates the rankings of supercomputers twice every year, China dominated the list with 167 entries. This was announced at the International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt, Germany on June 20.

The Sunway TaihuLight was built and designed by the Chinese National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering. Its system can execute 93 quadrillion calculations per second. This is the first time for a Chinese supercomputer to be powered by domestic processors instead of US technologies. Currently, the machine is housed at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, Jiangsu, China.

The other supercomputers included on the Top500 list are the Titan and Sequoia, which are both from the United States, the K computer and Fujitsu PRIMEHPC FX100 from Japan, and the SuperMUC from Germany. The United States has the second highest number of entries with 165 systems.

These supercomputers are used for the improvement of national security and scientific research.  They are designed to make complex calculations for different fields such as health, science, weaponry, car design, and other specialized purposes. Experts use supercomputers as an indicator of a country’s technological advancements.

Unlike normal computers, supercomputers are not available for public use. Aside from the fact that they are very expensive, these powerful machines are massive in size. They are almost equivalent to the size of a normal room. They are also much faster than ordinary computers because they are created to carry out highly-specialized and complex tasks.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think these supercomputers should be made available to the public? Why?
·         In what other fields do you want supercomputers to be used in? Explain.

Discussion B

·         What other inventions can be made for the improvement of national security and scientific research?
·         What do you want your country to be known for in terms of technological advancements?

August 31, 2016