by Brooks Hays
Frankfurt, Germany (UPI) Jun 20, 2016
The reign of American-made semiconductors may be over. China recently unveiled the world's fastest supercomputer. Unlike China's previous supercomputers, this one is powered by Chinese chip technology.
Sunway TaihuLight, developed by the National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology, is powered by a ShenWei SW26010 processor, manufactured at the National High Performance Integrated Circuit Design Center, in Shanghai. The computer is located at the government-funded National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, China.
Sunway TaihuLight took the top spot on the new list of the world's fastest computers. The list is compiled biannually by TOP500, a research organization dedicated to tracking advances in supercomputer technology.
"As the first number one system of China that is completely based on homegrown processors, the Sunway TaihuLight system demonstrates the significant progress that China has made in the domain of designing and manufacturing large-scale computation systems," Guangwen Yang, director of the National Supercomputing Center, told TOP500 News.
"It's not based on an existing architecture. They built it themselves," Jack Dongarra, a professor of computer scientists at the University of Tennessee, told Bloomberg News. "This is a system that has Chinese processors."
Dongarra created the software, a linear algebra algorithm called LINPACK, TOP500 uses to measure the speed of supercomputers.
Sunway TaihuLight earned a LINPACK score of 93 petaflops -- three times faster than the previous fastest, Tianhe-2, a Chinese supercomputer powered by American-made Intel processors. The record-breaking score means Sunway TaihuLight can process 93 quadrillion calculations per second.
Sunway TaihuLight has 40,960 nodes, each with a SW26010 chip, giving the supercomputer 125 peak petaflops across its more than 10 million cores.
Dongarra says Sunway TaihuLight's architecture is impressive. The complex simulations the supercomputer is currently running for research in the fields of weather modeling and climate science, Dongarra told TOP500, are proof the machine isn't just a stunt computer designed to notch a record-breaking LINPACK score.
The Chinese computer engineers responsible for Sunway TaihuLight are scheduled to formally present their new supercomputer on Tuesday at the International Supercomputing Conference, currently being held in Frankfurt, Germany.
Space Technology News - Applications and Research
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