A new supercomputer has been built in China which as been recognised as the world’s most powerful machine.
The 93 petaflop Sunway TaihuLight can be found at the National Supercomputing Centre in Wuxi. The super machine is capable of performing 93,000 trillion calculations per second and is twice as fast as well as three times as efficient as the world’s previous fastest computer, the Tianhe-2, which was also from China.
The computer’s main applications include manufacturing, weather forecasting and big data analytics.
On the tech side, the machine has 10.5 million locally-made processing cores, 40960 nodes and is running on a Linux-based operating system.
As well as producing the world’s fastest computer, China has now overtaken the US with the number of computers it has in the top 500. china now has 167 computers in the supercomputer rankings, whilst the US has 167. Top500 said,
“Considering that just 10 years ago, China claimed a mere 28 systems on the list, with none ranked in the top 30, the nation has come further and faster than any other country in the history of supercomputing,”
The US does however have four supercomputers in the top 10 of the top 500 list, whilst China occupies the top two places only in the top 10. Other positions are occupied by Japan, Switzerland, Germany and Saudi Arabia.
The BBC quotes Professor Less Carr from the University of Southampton.
“As a computer scientist it’s difficult writing software that can take advantage of and control large numbers of computer cores. This is why supercomputers are restricted to specialised applications – you need very specialised computing needs to take advantage of them. They are like extremely high-spec Grand Prix racing cars – they are fantastic for racing on circuits but they’re not great for travelling from London to Edinburgh.”