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FACTDROP: China's latest supercomputer officially begins operations


China's latest supercomputer officially begins operations

China’s Tianhe-1 supercomputer

Πηγή: Tech2
By Naina Khedekar
Jan 21 2012

More than a year back, we had heard about China’s Tianhe-1 supercomputer, which was capable of carrying out 1 trillion calculations per second. Later, along with Nvidia, it had planned to bring the most powerful supercomputer. In September last year, China installed yet another supercomputer capable of performing 1,000 trillion calculations per second, but with domestically produced micro-processors. This supercomputer, dubbed Sunway BlueLight has now officially begun operations. According to reports by Manorama online, Xinhua says that the computer began working on Thursday at the National Supercomputing Centre in the eastern city of Jinan in Shandong province.

Sunway BlueLight is a mix of high-density packaging and low energy consumption technology. It is developed by the National Research Centre of Parallel Computer Engineering and Technology and said to promote scientific and economic development of Shandong in fields of ocean utilisation, biopharmacy, industrial design and financial risk prediction. It will also be used as a node in China's national computing grid.

After three months of trial period, the computer was used for official use. This makes China, the only country after the U.S and Japan to have built supercomputer with domestically-made processors.The Sunway also makes it to the list of 20 fastest supercomputers of the world and has about 74 percent speed of the Jaguar supercomputer in the U.S. In all, it equips 8,704 home brewed Shenwei 1600 microprocessors. The oceanology experts say that the Sunway can help increase climate simulations by Chinese scientists and help in ocean monitoring. "It allows scientists to simulate water movement more than 5,500 metres below the ocean's surface," said Pan Jingshan, assistant director of the centre.

It has just one megawatt of power consumption, owing to the liquid cooling system. This power consumption is quite low compared to the Jaguar by the U.S that consumes 7 watts. And obviously, the highlight of the supercomputer is its home grown processors without the need for foreign components.

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