A Calculating Win for China’s New Supercomputer

18:23 minutes

China’s “Tianhe-2” (Milky Way 2) supercomputer took first place in one recent speed test, clocking in at 30 quadrillion calculations per second—about twice as fast as the best American machines. The U.S. still has more supercomputers than any other nation, but some experts say computer speed is a measure of a country’s scientific innovation, and worry the U.S. is lagging behind.

Segment Guests

Horst Simon

Horst Simon is editor of Top500 and deputy lab director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at Berkeley, California.

Rick Stevens

Rick Stevens is associate lab director of computing, environment and life science research at the Argonne National Laboratory, and a computer science professor at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois.

Meet the Producer

About Christopher Intagliata

Christopher Intagliata was Science Friday’s senior producer. He once served as a prop in an optical illusion and speaks passable Ira Flatowese.