eldavojohn writes "China is digging a massive hole to house a computer building with the intent of usurping the United States' lead in the field of supercomputing, claims IBM. As of earlier this year, Oak Ridge Lab was beating China's Shenzhen Center. But now, an IBM representative has said to a Washington, DC forum, 'You have sovereign nations making material investments of a tremendous magnitude to basically eat our lunch, eat our collective lunch.' China has long been a contender in this regard, and Europe and Japan have similar goals to build an exascale supercomputer. To achieve this by 2020, the US will need to focus on 'co-design,' where hardware is developed in tandem with every other aspect of the computer, from applications down to optics. This isn't the first time a 'space race' style supercomputing push has been spurred by international competitiveness."