In late October the New York Times reported that China has built a machine capable of 2.5 petaFLOPS. The Tianhe-1A supercomputer is now the world’s most powerful, 40% faster than the fastest American machine located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Of course this wasn’t a surprise, and the DOE has been publicly positioning itself for this eventuality since at least June when Steven Koonin, the Undersecretary for Science in the DOE, articulated the need for the US to maintain its world leadership position in supercomputing. And since China’s announcement, Koonin and the DOE have been busy trying to position themselves as the real leaders-to-watch in large scale computing.
In a blog post the day after the New York Times story, Koonin lends his weight to DOE efforts to be the first to a useful exaFLOPS computer, taking full ownership of the push: