China has built the world’s fastest supercomputer, using GPUs:

Working on a budget of 600 million RMB [Yuan], which translates to 87.88 million USD, Chinese scientists created a supercomputer consisted out of 24,576 Intel Core2-based cores [6144 Harpertown CPUs – 3072 Xeon E5540s and 3072 Xeon E5450s] and 5120 AMD RV770 GPUs [2560 ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB cards]. Together, 6144 Intel CPUs and 2560 AMD GPUs reach a theoretical speed of 1.206 PFLOPS.

This kind of performance took Chinese scientists by surprise. Zhang Yunquan, a researcher with the Institute of Software of the Chinese Academy of Sciences [CAS] was quoted: “I was shocked at the milestone breakthrough, which was beyond expectation, I previously forecast China’s first petaflop computer no earlier than the end of 2010.”

But because it doesn’t meet SPEC rules (no GPUs allowed) it’s only unofficially the faster computer in the world. Stupid SPEC.

via GPGPU start to take over the HPC sector: 5120