The Sputnik crisis shocked the US policy as well as the US science in 1957 when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first Earth satellite. The launch of Sputnik 1 showed clearly that the US had lost its leadership in space technology. In 2002, the Computnik crisis followed when Japan introduced its Earth Simulator, the world’s fastest super computer at that time. The US had lost its pole position in high performance computing, at least until the Earth Simulator’s capacity was surpassed by IBM’s Blue Gene/L prototype in 2004.
Yesterday, China announced (see inside HPC or HPC wire news) that their new Tianhe-1A super computer has set a new performance record of 2.507 petaflops on the LINPACK benchmark, making it the fastest system in the world today. The Tianhe-1A super computer will probably lead the next Top-500 list, which will be published in the next few weeks. Then, the US will loose its hpc leadership for a second time.