China has built a new fastest supercomputer, the Sunway TaihuLight, running at the National Supercomputing Center in the city of Wux. With 93 petaflops of processing power, this ridiculous machine outperforms the formerTop500 champion, Tianhe-2. The Sunway TaihuLight is nearly three times more powerful than the 33.85 petaflops Tianhe-2. Most of all, it doesn’t have to rely on Western technology for its supercomputing processors and the fact that every one of its 10.65 million processing cores and 40,960 nodes was made in China.
The Sunway TaihuLight has now topped the Top500 list, pushing Tianhe-2 to second, and United States’ Titan (17.59 petaflops) down the line to third. 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.
The former topper, China’s Tianhe-2 was developed using Intel’s chips that were made in the US. China has plans to upgrade the performance of the supercomputer last year, but the US government had banned the export of super-performance computing chips to China. As a result, China has its own supercomputer, in the matter of fact is built from home-grown chips and semiconductors. It uses only 1.3 petabytes of memory for the entire machine and it’s also more energy-efficient, consuming just 15.3 megawatts of power — less than the 17.8 megawatts used by the 33-petaflop Tianhe-2.
These supercomputers have been used by both China and the United States for national security and scientific research. The growth of Chinese supercomputers have been significant since 2001, as there was no Chinese supercomputer in the Top500 list since then, but now there are 167 supercomputers outperforming the US, which has 165 supercomputers.