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New Chinese supercomputer named world’s fastest system on latest TOP500 list

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FRANKFURT —New Chinese supercomputer which can make 93 quadrillions counts per second was named the world’s most powerful supercomputer on Monday.

For the straight seven years, supercomputer called Sunway-TaihuLight has topped a rundown of the world’s fastest PCs – and for the first time the winner uses only Chinese-designed processors instead of US technology, according to media reports.

The newest edition of the list was announced Monday, June 20, at the 2016 International Supercomputer Conference in Frankfurt. The closely watched list is issued twice a year.

Developed by the National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering and Technology (NRCPC) and installed at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, Sunway TaihuLight displaces Tianhe-2, an Intel-based Chinese supercomputer that has claimed the No. 1 spot on the past six TOP500 lists.

Sunway TaihuLight, with 10,649,600 computing cores comprising 40,960 nodes, is twice as fast and three times as efficient as Tianhe-2, which posted a LINPACK performance of 33.86 petaflop/s. The peak power consumption under load (running the HPL benchmark) is at 15.37 MW, or 6 Gflops/Watt.

This allows the TaihuLight system to grab one of the top spots on the Green500 in terms of the Performance/Power metric.  Titan, a Cray XK7 system installed at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is now the No. 3 system. It achieved 17.59 petaflop/s.

Last year’s Chinese winner in the TOP500 ranking maintained by researchers in the United States and Germany slipped to No. 2, followed by a computer at the US government’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

Also this year, China displaced the United States for the first time as the country with the most supercomputers in the top 500. China had 167 systems and the United States had 165. Japan was a distant No. 3 with 29 systems.

Supercomputers are one of a series of technologies targeted by China’s ruling Communist Party for development and have received heavy financial support. Such systems are used for weather forecasting, designing nuclear weapons, analyzing oilfields and other specialized purposes.

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Health

Sleeping in on weekends may help live longer

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Sleep deprivation has been found to have numerous negative effects on a person’s health. But the new study has shown that sleeping more on the weekend might help ease health problems associated with not getting enough during the week, and even reduce the risk of an early death.

The study, published in Journal of Sleep Research by scientists from Sweden and the United States, suggested that the negative effects of a few nights of short sleep could be counteracted by staying in bed over the weekend.

The from the Stress Research Institute (SRI) at Stockholm University and the Karolinska Institute discovered that people below 65 years old who slept less than five hours on weekends had a higher risk of early death after examining medical and lifestyle data from more than 43,000 adults, following them for a period of 13 years.

For people who slept for less than five hours throughout the week but slept longer on the weekends for about nine hours, there was no increase in mortality risk. But, for people who consistently slept for less than five hours through the whole week, the mortality risk is higher.

Torbjorn Akerstedt, one of the authors of the research and a clinical neuroscience professor from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said that the findings were consistent with previous studies on the link between sleep duration and mortality.

However, those previous studies only focused on sleep during weekdays.

“The results imply that short sleep is not a risk factor for mortality if it is combined with a medium or long weekend sleep,” the researchers wrote in the study.

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