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Sponsors 863 Program
Location Guangzhou, China
Architecture 32,000 Intel Xeon E5-2692 12C with 2.200 GHz 48,000 Xeon Phi 31S1P
Power 17.6 MW (24 MW with cooling)
Operating system Kylin Linux[1]
Memory 1,375 TiB (1,000 TiB CPU and 375 TiB coprocessor)[1]
Storage 12.4 PB
Speed 33.86 PFLOPS
Cost 2.4 billion Yuan (US$390 million)[2]
Purpose Scientific Research
Sources http://top500.org/system/177999 http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/computing/hardware/tianhe2-caps-top-10-supercomputers

Tianhe-2 or TH-2 (Chinese: 天河-2; pinyin: tiānhé-èr; literally: "Heavenriver-2", that is, "Milky Way 2") is a 33.86-petaflops supercomputer located in Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.[3] It was developed by a team of 1,300 scientists and engineers.

It is the world's fastest supercomputer according to the TOP500 lists for June 2013, November 2013, and June 2014.[4][5]


The development of Tianhe-2 was sponsored by the 863 High Technology Program, initiated by the Chinese government, the government of Guangdong province, and the government of Guangzhou city.[1] It was built by China's National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) in collaboration with the Chinese IT firm Inspur.[1][5] Inspur manufactured the printed circuit boards and helped with the installation and testing of the system software.[1] The project was originally scheduled for completion in 2015, but was instead declared operational in June 2013.[6] As of June 2013, the supercomputer had yet to become fully operational. It was expected to reach its full computing capabilities by the end of 2013.[5]

In June 2013, Tianhe-2 topped the TOP500 list of fastest supercomputers in the world. The computer beat out second place finisher Titan by nearly a 2-to-1 margin. Titan, which is housed at the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, achieved 17.59 petaflops, while Tianhe-2 achieved 33.86 petaflops. Tianhe-2's phenomenal performance returned the title of the world's fastest supercomputer to China after Tianhe-I's début in November 2010. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers said Tianhe-2's win "symbolizes China's unflinching commitment to the supercomputing arms race".[5] China houses 66 of the top 500 supercomputers, second only to the United States' 252 systems.[3]

Also in June 2013, Tianhe-2 is ranked sixth on the Graph500 list of top supercomputers.[7] In their benchmark, the system tested at 2,061 gigaTEPS (traversed edges per second). The top system, IBM Sequoia, tested at 15,363 gigaTEPS.[7] It also has first place in perspective HPCG test proposed by Jack Dongarra, with 0.580 HPCG PFLOPS in June 2014.[8]

Tianhe-2 has been housed at National University of Defense Technology.[9]

In June 2014, Tianhe-2 remains on top in list of supercomputers at the speed of 33.86 petaflops in HPL Linpack benchmark.[10]


According to NUDT, Tianhe-2 will be used for simulation, analysis, and government security applications.[1]

With 16,000 computer nodes, each comprising two Intel Ivy Bridge Xeon processors and three Xeon Phi coprocessor chips, it represents the world's largest installation of Ivy Bridge and Xeon Phi chips, counting a total of 3,120,000 cores.[3] Each of the 16,000 nodes possess 88 gigabytes of memory (64 used by the Ivy Bridge processors, and 8 gigabytes for each of the Xeon Phi processors). The total CPU plus coprocessor memory is 1,375 TiB (approximately 1.34 PiB).[1]

During the testing phase, Tianhe-2 was laid out in a non-optimal confined space. When assembled at its final location, the system will have a theoretical peak performance of 54.9 petaflops. At peak power consumption, the system itself would draw 17.6 megawatts of power. Including external cooling, the system would draw an aggregate of 24 megawatts. The computer complex would occupy 720 square meters of space.[1]

The front-end system consists of 4096 Galaxy FT-1500 CPUs, a SPARC derivative designed and built by NUDT. Each FT-1500 has 16 cores and a 1.8 GHz clock frequency. The chip has a performance of 144 gigaflops and runs on 65 watts. The interconnect, called the TH Express-2, designed by NUDT, utilizes a fat tree topology with 13 switches each of 576 ports.[1]

Tianhe-2 runs on Kylin Linux, a version of the operating system developed by NUDT. Resource management is based on Simple Linux Utility for Resource Management (SLURM).[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Dongarra, Jack (2013-06-03). "Visit to the National University for Defense Technology Changsha, China" (PDF). Netlib. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  2. ^ Chen, Stephen (2013-06-20). "World's fastest supercomputer may get little use". 
  3. ^ a b c "June 2013". TOP500. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  4. ^ "The Top 500 List: June 2013". Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  5. ^ a b c d Davey Alba (2013-06-17). "China's Tianhe-2 Caps Top 10 Supercomputers". IEEE Spectrum. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  6. ^ Michael Kan, IDG News Service (2012-10-31). "China is building a 100-petaflop supercomputer". infoworld.com. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  7. ^ a b "The Graph 500 List: June 2013". Graph 500. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  8. ^ Hemsoth, Nicole (June 26, 2014). "New HPC Benchmark Delivers Promising Results". HPCWire. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  9. ^ "China's Tianhe-2 Remains The World's Fastest Supercomputer". Forbes. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "China's Tianhe-2 Remains The World's Fastest Supercomputer". Forbes. 23 August 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
Preceded by
17.59 petaflops
World's most powerful supercomputer
June 2013 –