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Crunching the Universe: China Takes World Lead With Fastest Supercomputer

Chinaflag China revealed the Tianhe-1A, a new supercomputer revealed that has set a new performance record of 2.507 petaflops (quadrillion floating point operations per second), as measured by the LINPACK benchmark, making it the fastest system in China and in the world today, according to an NVIDIA statement. The the Tianhe-1A trumps China's older supercomputer, the curiously named, Milky Way 1.

The supercomputer operates 50% faster than the world’s current top supercomputer, the Cray XT5-HE Jaquar at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which can deliver 1.76 petaflops of sustained performance. The Tianhe-1A operates at one-third the power and at one half the size of the Jagquar, according to NVIDIA.

The system uses 7,168 NVIDIA Tesla M2050 massively parallel graphics processing units (GPUs) and 14,336 multi-core central processing units (CPUs). It would require more than 50,000 CPUs and twice as much floor space to deliver the same performance using CPUs alone. the company says.

Tianhe-1A was designed by the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) in China. The system is housed at National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin and is already fully operational. It will be operated as an open access system to use for large scale scientific computations.

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Jason McManus Via http://www.kurzweilai.net

Comments

Impressive number. But it's worthwhile to note that its heavy dependence upon GPUs narrows its usefulness, somewhat. Most supercomputers are already non-SSI systems, which means that for them to work well, the problem needs to be parallelizable, meaning that it can be broken up into chunks which don't require high bandwidth or low latency communication between the individual nodes. A further dependence upon GPUs means that those petaflops of processing power can only be exploited by problems which are both parallelizable *and* can benefit greatly from SIMD(Single Instruction, Multiple Data). Which basically means you can point the processor at a large array containing cells of data, and say, do "this" on all those cells.

A common problem for supercomputing is to do lots of FFTs (Fast Fourier Transforms) which essentially exposes periodicities in the input data. GPUs do well on these kinds of problems. But for things like climate prediction, not so well. In fact, problems like climate simulations really like SSI systems, and don't benefit much from "supercomputing", per se, so much as having lots of powerful SSI systems working on a set of models given a wide range of input data.

Still, it's nice to see the Chinese upping the ante in this area. While the people here in the US no longer care that much about science, they do care about Sports and Communism. And this development ought to generate a competitive response.

"they do care about Sports and Communism"

Yes I think you hit the mark with that phrase

Quite fascinating...as you say this could generate some constructive competition.

again, agreed with steve..

first usa, now china comunist.:( i would prefer germany or japan.

Quite impressive, China seems eager to impose itself on every field, but still in this case, this is mostly American technology.

Quite impressive, China seems eager to impose itself on every field, but still in this case, this is mostly American technology.

why do you ban this articole : http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/201 0/10/from-the-x-file-dept-et-council-of-8-we-will-increase-ufos-address-un-in-2014.html ?!!

"""
but still in this case, this is mostly American technology.
"""

Multinational technology, actually. In this case, and for the moment, The People's Republic of China has simply appropriated multinational technology better than the US has, in this area. The multinationals may be nominally based either here or there. But they can shift their workforces, as world tides change. And more and more, China appears to be on the rise. The question is "Can the US public be roused from its current complacency?". I don't know. But I suspect that there is a paradigm change, of some sort, in our not too distant future.

-Steve

i have a yen a yen for speed.

how many petas can a petaflop flop

Don't let the Chinese bamboozle you with all their pandaflops.

They brag about what they have, We don't!. The NSA just smiles.....

those crafty chicoms just strapped a nuke generator to an iphone.

This is a Zoobles gift pack that contains five exclusive Zoobles representing the vibrant colors of the rainbow. Far away on the mysterious Isle of Zooble reside hundreds of adorable, little creatures with a magnificent ability they can magically transform into tiny balls hiding from the unknown, rolling to fun destinations or to go to sleep. Watch out though you never know when these mischievous Zoobles are going to pop open and surprise you. In the back, you get 5 Zoobles, 2 Double Happitats, 1 Single Happitat, and a Vinyl bag to keep it all safe.

Still the future is to come with Quantum Processors and Computing.

I don't know. But I suspect that there is a paradigm change, of some sort, in our not too distant future.

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