China Builds World’s Fastest Supercomputer, Again

by : Scott Cullen on : 21 Jun 2016 16:48

China has solidified its claim as a computing powerhouse yet again, by once again building the world’s fastest supercomputer.


Hang on, weren’t they already number 1?

Yes, but China has surpassed itself with this latest iteration of a super computer.

The ‘Sunway TaihuLight’ has claimed the top spot as the world’s fastest super computer, the Verge reports. Most notably, by being capable of making 93 quadrillion calculations per second – or 93 Petaflops, if we’re getting the jargon right.

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That’s three times as fast as the previous number one, ‘Tianhe-2’, which was also built by China but used American processors for its power.

The TaihuLight, however, is made from entirely Chinese built semiconductors. This is probably due to the U.S. banning the export of all high performance computer chips to China recently.

Prof. Dr. Guangwen Yang of  the National Supercomputing Center, Wuxi, had this to say to Top500:

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.


How does it do that?

This absolute monster of a computer contains around 41,000 chipsets carrying 260 processor cores.

That adds up to over 10 million cores at its disposal, while the previous number one, the ‘Tianhe-2, had around three million.


These numbers also dwarf those of its nearest U.S. competition, which holds around 560,000 cores.


What will these ‘supercomputers’ be used for?

The primary functions of supercomputers at the moment are mainly for ‘national’ and ‘cyber’ security, with some being used for scientific research too.

Some of those areas include manufacturing and industry, Earth system modelling, and life sciences.

Maybe one day we could all have a supercomputer where the laptop currently resides.

Topics: Technology


The Verge
  1. The Verge

    Chinese supercomputer is the world's fastest — and without using US chips