Saturday, October 29, 2011

China is developing a faster, more powerful computer, and...

...it is doing it with technology it is creating at home. (And you can hear the China bashers and the corresponding fear-mongers screaming at the top of their lungs.)

The New York Times reports that the new computer left Western experts impressed.
China has made its first supercomputer based on Chinese microprocessor chips, an advance that surprised high-performance computing specialists in the United States. 
The announcement was made this week at a technical meeting held in Jinan, China, organized by industry and government organizations. The new machine, the Sunway BlueLight MPP, was installed in September at the National Supercomputer Center in Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province in eastern China.
The Sunway system, which can perform about 1,000 trillion calculations per second — a petaflop — will probably rank among the 20 fastest computers in the world. More significantly, it is composed of 8,700 ShenWei SW1600 microprocessors, designed at a Chinese computer institute and manufactured in Shanghai.
ZDnet.com takes a closer look at what the computer appears capable of doing.
The computer is power-efficient, consuming a megawatt of power when running, compared to seven megawatts for the US's fastest computer, Jaguar, which is capable of 1.7 petaflops. This is partly due to an advanced water cooling system.

Official details are scarce, though slides surfaced on Chinese IT news site IT168.com which gave more detail and were translated by Hung-Sheng Tsao, founder of HopBit GridComputing,
on his blog.

According to the slides, which appear to be from a presentation describing the computer's capabilities, the ShenWei Sunway BlueLight MPP has 150TB of main storage and 2PB of external storage. Each ShenWei SW1600 processor is 64-bit, has 16-cores and is RISC-based.
From the timing is everything department, the announcement of the super-computer comes as Beijing hosts a two-day computer conference.

As mentioned above, the bashers and fear-mongers who relish ripping China at every turn are sure to jump on this latest news to bolster their contention that China will stop at nothing in its effort at world domination. Spare me the rhetoric. 

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