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A Chinese supercomputer has topped a list of the world's fastest computers for the seventh straight year — and for the first time the winner uses only Chinese-designed processors instead of U.S. technology. The Sunway TaihuLight, pictured, can run quadrillions of calculations per second, achieves 93 Pflops on the Linpack benchmark, and has a peak performance of 125 Pflops.


The Sunway TaihuLight achieves 93 Pflops on the Linpack benchmark, and has a peak performance of 125 Pflops. This is about five times that of Oak Ridge's Titan, which uses Cray, NVIDIA and Opteron technology, pictured above
The Sunway TaihuLight achieves 93 Pflops on the Linpack benchmark, and has a peak performance of 125 Pflops. This is about five times that of Oak Ridge's Titan, which uses Cray, NVIDIA and Opteron technology. Associated Press


As the first No. 1 supercomputer system that is completely based on homegrown processors, without use of US technology. 

The Sunway TaihuLight system demonstrates the significant progress that China has made in the domain of designing and manufacturing large-scale computation systems.
It was developed by China's National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology using entirely Chinese-designed processors. 

The TaihuLight uses Chinese-developed ShenWei processors, 'ending any remaining speculation that China would have to rely on Western technology to compete effectively in the upper echelons of supercomputing,' TOP500 said in a statement.
  
Sunway Taihu Light Supercomputer China
Tech Report
Layout
The Taihu Light has three sections; a central network node to manage and coordinate operations in the 40,960 computing modules, which are located in the two computing banks.
The Taihu Light has 10,649,600 central processing units (CPU), to achieve a processing speed of 93 petaflops; that's 93 quadrillion calculations a second, or 2 million laptop computers. Built by the National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology, the Sunway Taihulgiht is operated at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, China.

Shenwei CPU SW20610
All Made in China
The Shenwei SW20610 has 260 of these 1.45Ghz CPUs, which are all completely designed and made in China.
The Sunway TaihuLight's 40,960 Shenwei SW26010 computing modules each contain 260 1.45Ghz CPU, which are all entirely designed and made in China. In contrast, the Tianhe 2 used Intel Xeon Phi cores for its processors (the ShenWei can thank a bit of its success to a US government ban on further Xeon core sales to China that was supposed to halt Chinese supercomputing).

Sunway Taihu Light Supercomputer China
CCTV News
Quadrillions a Second
The Sunway Taihu Light is already the world's most powerful computer, but is expected to be upgraded with a 33% increase in processing power to over 120 petaflops in several years.

China Supercomputer Tianhe 2
Chinese Internet
Tianhe 2 Corridor
A look down one of the corridors in the giant room housing the Tianhe 2, which has a processing power of 33.86 petaflops (double that of its nearest competitor, the Oak Ridge Lab's Titan). But now it's been supplanted by the Sunway TaihuLight, which itself will be beaten in 2020, when China debuts the world's first exoscale (that's 1,000 quadrillion calculations per second) supercomputer in 2020.

Supercomputing is key part of the Chinese government;s plan shift to an innovation driven society. China hopes to finish an "exascale"1000 petaflop supercomputer in 2020, China already has the world's largest installed supercomputing capacity at 211 petaflops out of a global installed capacity of 566.7 petaflops. China also has 167 of the world's 500 fastest supercomputers, according to the globally recognized TOP500 list.
 
The Sunway TaihuLight, can run quadrillions of calculations per second, achieves 93 Pflops on the Linpack benchmark, and has a peak performance of 125 Pflops.
The second-fastest computer, the Tianhe-2 at the National Supercomputer Center in the southern city of Guangzhou, is capable of 33 petaflops. It uses chips made by Intel Corp.
 
This year's champion is the Sunway TaihuLight at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, west of Shanghai, according to TOP500.
The TaihuLight is due to be introduced Tuesday at the International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt by the director of the Wuxi center, Guangwen Yang.
Announcement marks a new milestone for Chinese supercomputer development and a further erosion of past U.S. dominance of the field. 

Besides the direct application of the technology, the innovations, experience, and engineering capabilities used to design and build supercomputers are likely to be applied to other areas of Chinese electronics, including in the consumer, industrial, scientific, and military sectors.
Its top speed is about five times that of Oak Ridge's Titan, which uses Cray, NVIDIA and Opteron technology.
 
Also this year, China displaced the United States for the first time as the country with the most supercomputers in the top 500. 
China had 167 systems and the United States had 165. 
Japan was a distant No. 3 with 29 systems. 
Among countries with the most computers on the top 500 list, Germany was in fourth place with 26 systems, France was next with 18, followed by Britain with 12.

Considering that just 10 years ago, China claimed a mere 28 systems on the list, with none ranked in the top 30, the nation has come further and faster than any other country in the history of supercomputing,' the TOP500 organizers said in a statement.

The TOP500 is compiled by Erich Strohmaier of NERSC/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Horst Simon of NERSC/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Martin Meuer of Prometeus GmbH, a German technology company. Another contributor, Hans Meuer of Germany's University of Mannheim, died in 2014. Associated Press

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