The Sunway TaihuLight, a made in China supercomputer is now declared as the world’s fastest. And the highlite is, it uses only Chinese-designed processors instead of U.S. technology.
Sunway TaihuLight – Made in China Supercomputer
The Sunway TaihuLight takes the top spot from previous record-holder Tianhe-2 (also located in China), built using US-made Intel processors. And Sunway TaihuLight is twice as fast and three times as efficient as Tianhe-2, which posted a performance of 33.86 quadrillions of calculations per second.
And also Sunway TaihuLight is roughly five times more powerful than the speediest US system, Titan,which is now ranked third worldwide.
The TaihuLight is comprised of some 41,000 chips, each with 260 processor cores. This makes for a total of 10.65 million cores, compared to the 560,000 cores in America’s top machine. In terms of memory, it’s relatively light on its feet, with just 1.3 petabytes used for the entire machine. (By comparison, the much less powerful 10-petaflop K supercomputer uses 1.4 petabytes of RAM.) This means it’s unusually energy efficient, drawing just 15.3 megawatts of power — less than the 17.8 megawatts used by the 33-petaflop Tianhe-2.
Why China Used Domestic Chips?
China’s efforts in developing their own processors stems from Washington’s decision to block Beijing’s access to Intel’s processors last February. This was based on an unfounded fear that the Chinese government would use the technology to develop nuclear weapons, though some Chinese critics feel American politicians used this excuse to stymie progress of the Eastern nation’s supercomputer development.
The TaihuLight is installed at China’s National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, and uses ShenWei computers that operate on a system called Sunway Raise and were developed at Jiangnan Computing Research Lab in Wuxi.