The Chinese have just taken a major step forward in the supercomputer wars: The rising Asian power has just built the world’s fastest supercomputer and it didn’t use a single U.S.-made chip to get it done.
As reported by The Hacker News, the newly built machine, Sunway TaihuLight, Top500 on Monday during the International Supercomputer Conference in Germany declared that China’s 10.65 Million-core machine was the world’s fastest supercomputer. Moreover, the supercomputer is leading by a wide margin, as well.
“With 93 petaflops of processing power, Sunway TaihuLight is nearly three times more powerful than the world’s previous fastest supercomputer, Tianhe-2, which had been the world’s fastest computer for last 3 years with speeds of 33.9 petaflops per second,” The Hacker News reported.
What’s more, the microprocessors inside the machine are all Chinese-made. The new supercomputer is powered entirely by Chinese processors (the 260-core ShenWei 26010) and runs on a custom Linux-based operating system.
“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 system,” the National Supercomputing Centre’s director, Professor Dr. Guangwen Yang said.
In the past Chinese supercomputer developers relied heavily on American-made processors, but the U.S. government believed that China was using the Tianhe-2, which was built using Intel cores, to conduct nuclear weapons simulations.
As such, Washington banned Intel from exporting its powerful Xeon processors more than a year ago to several Chinese supercomputer manufacturers.
That said, obviously the U.S. decision did not stop Chinese supercomputer development. Now, Beijing has the fastest machines on the planet, and did so with its own microprocessors. That means in a conflict, China would not be reliant on American parts for its systems.
“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,” said the latest Top500 announcement.