Sunway TaihuLight, with a new system built entirely using processors designed and made in China topped the list of the Top 500 supercomputers with 93 quadrillion calculations per second. According to the newest edition of the list which was announced at the 2016 International Supercomputing Conference in Germany.
China had the world’s fastest supercomputer, the Tianhe 2. But now there’s a new supercomputer, three times as powerful, but using even less power.
The Shenwei SW20610 has 260 of these 1.45Ghz CPUs, which are all completely designed and made in China.
That new supercomputer is the Sunway TaihuLight, which has 10,649,600 central processing units (CPU). To achieve a processing speed of 93 petaflops; that’s 93 quadrillion calculations a second, or 2 million laptop computers. Built by the National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology.
The TaihuLight unparalleled processing power can be used to model and test climate change models, neural imaging and simulation, aerodynamics, fusion research, big data analysis and material sciences. Militarily, it could help with simulating nuclear weapons testing, hypersonic engines and cracking enemy encryption.
TaihuLight is currently up and running at the National Supercomputing Center in the city of Wuxi, a manufacturing and technology hub, a two-hour drive west of Shanghai. The system will be used for various research and engineering work, in areas such as climate, weather & earth systems modeling, life science research, advanced manufacturing, and data analytics.
China’s investment in high-performance chips and supercomputers in recent years has been significant and effective. In 2001, there were no Chinese supercomputers in the world’s top 500 ranking. Now, there are 167 — more than the US, which has 165 entries. The development of TaihuLight was funded under the so-called “863 program,” . A government project aimed at ending reliance on foreign technology.