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By the numbers: The U.S.-China supercomputer battle

An employee of the German Climate Computing Center stands by the 'MistralÓ supercomputer in 2017.
The 'MistralÓ supercomputer in Hamburg. Photo: Morris MacMatzen/Getty

The United States took the top spot in the TOP500, a biannual ranking of the world's fastest computing systems, for the first time since 2012 with the new Summit supercomputer, but it continues to lose ground to China overall.

Why it matters: In an ever-advancing industry, the world's most powerful computers are continually growing stronger and faster — and, in the burgeoning tech war between the U.S. and China, they're a mark of a nation's technical prowess.