China’s New Supercomputer Declared Fastest in the World

Science China Press
Science China Press / Science China Press

A new Chinese supercomputer called the Sunway TaihuLight has more than lapped its competition, becoming the fastest supercomputer in the world, The Verge reports.

More than three times as fast as the previous record-holder Tianhe-2, a Chinese supercomputer built with American Intel processors, and five times as fast as America’s top system, the Sunway TaihuLight processes about 93 quadrillion calculations per second. It’s also the first Chinese supercomputer built exclusively with Chinese parts.

According to the research organization Top500, which releases supercomputer rankings twice a year, the supercomputer was created by China’s National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology (NRCPC). While China’s previous supercomputers were built using American-made Intel chips, the Sunway TaihuLight’s exclusive use of domestic parts represents a major step towards technological independence for China.

The Sunway TaihuLight will be used primarily for research, contributing to the fields of earth system modeling, ocean surface modeling, atomistic simulation, and phase-field simulation, according to a press release. In addition to creating the world’s fastest supercomputer, China is currently the nation with the most supercomputers on the Top500 list, with 167 compared to America’s 165.

National Supercomputing Center director Guangwen Yang told 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.”

[h/t The Verge]

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