How China’s Supercomputer Outpaced Old Tech: The Chinese Supercomputer is one of the most powerful in the world. But, how did it get there?
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China’s supercomputer, the Sunway TaihuLight, is now the world’s most powerful machine. It outperforms the previous record holder, Tianhe-2, by nearly three times. The Sunway TaihuLight is built entirely with Chinese-made chips and software. This article looks at how China has been able to achieve this level of performance and what it means for the future of supercomputing.
The Chinese Supercomputer Advantage
It was once said that America had the best supercomputers in the world. But, as of June 2016, that is no longer the case. According to the TOP500 list, the Chinese supercomputer, Sunway TaihuLight, is now the world’s fastest. What gives the Chinese supercomputer such an advantage?
Chinese Supercomputers Outpace Old Tech
In recent years, China has become a leading player in the global supercomputing race, regularly topping the list of the world’s most powerful computers. In June 2015, China’s Sunway TaihuLight took the top spot on the TOP500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers for the first time. Since then, Chinese supercomputers have held onto the top spot, with Sunway TaihuLight retaining its position as the world’s most powerful supercomputer for three consecutive years.
So how did China manage to overtake other nations in the supercomputing race? One key factor is that Chinese manufacturers have been able to produce more powerful chips than their international counterparts. In early 2018, China’s Tianhe-2A (TH-2A) chip was ranked as the world’s most powerful microprocessor by TOP500, surpassing chips from Intel and IBM.
Another important factor is government support. The Chinese government has been strongly committed to developing indigenous supercomputing capability, investing billions of dollars in research and development (R&D) and offering generous subsidies to manufacturers. As a result of these efforts, Chinese companies have been able to rapidly catch up with international leaders in chip manufacturing and supercomputer production.
Looking to the future, it is likely that China will continue to dominate the global supercomputing landscape. With strong government support and continued advances in chip technology, Chinese manufacturers are well positioned to maintain their lead in the years to come.
Chinese Supercomputers are More Efficient
As the world’s most populous country, China has an insatiable appetite for energy. To meet this demand, China has turned to supercomputers. Supercomputers are incredibly energy efficient, using just 0.12% of the energy of a standard desktop computer to achieve the same level of performance. This efficiency allows Chinese supercomputers to outperform their Western counterparts.
In November 2016, China’s Sunway TaihuLight became the world’s most powerful supercomputer, with a peak performance of 93 petaflops. That’s equivalent to the processing power of more than 93 million laptops! In second place is Tianhe-2 (Milky Way-2), another Chinese supercomputer that achieved a peak performance of 33 petaflops in June 2013.
These impressive feats of engineering have been made possible by China’s investment in homegrown technology. While Western companies have relied on imported chipsets and software, Chinese companies have developed their own indigenous technology. As a result, Chinese supercomputers are more energy efficient and often cheaper to build than their Western counterparts.
The Impact of Chinese Supercomputers
China now dominates the supercomputing race, with 167 of the 500 most powerful supercomputers. This is more than any other country, including the united states Chinese supercomputers are used for a variety of tasks, including weather forecasting, earthquake simulation, and atomic weapons research. The country’s investment in supercomputing is part of a broader push to become a world leader in artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge technologies.
The Impact on Global Competition
China’s decision to build the world’s fastest supercomputer has implications far beyond the country’s borders. The Tianhe-2, or “Milky Way 2,” system is not only the world’s fastest supercomputer, but it is also more than twice as fast as the previous record holder, a U.S. system called Titan. The implications of this development are significant and far-reaching.
For one, the Tianhe-2 gives China a major edge in the global race to develop ever-more powerful supercomputers. In addition, the system was built using mostly Chinese-made components, giving a boost to the country’s domestic tech industry And finally, the Tianhe-2 will be used for a range of strategic applications, including military ones, further extending China’s lead in this critical area of technology.
In short, China’s development of the world’s fastest supercomputer is a major coup that will have far-reaching consequences for the global balance of power in both the economic and military arenas.
The Impact on Jobs
While there is no doubt that Chinese supercomputers have had a profound impact on the MPI landscape, the effects of this technology on jobs has been less clear. Some experts have argued that the rise of Chinese supercomputing will result in the displacement of American workers in the field. However, other experts have noted that the skills required to operate and maintain these machines are quite different from those required to build them, and that there is currently a shortage of qualified workers in China.
In any case, it is clear that the impact of Chinese supercomputers on the global economy will be significant. As these machines become more powerful and more widely used, they are likely to change the way we live and work in fundamental ways.
In summary, China’s supercomputer is much faster than the old tech because it uses a new processing technique called “quantum annealing.” This makes the computer able to solve problems much faster than the traditional method of using transistors.