China revealed its latest supercomputer with more than 10 million cores that are entirely built on Chinese microprocessors. This is followed by the US Government’s decision to deny China’s access to Intel’s fastest microprocessors.

China Revealed Its Latest Supercomputer

There is, currently, no US-made system that comes even close to China’s new system, named as The Sunway TaihuLight. Theoretically, its performance is 124.5 petaflops, and according to research, it is among the top 500 supercomputers. It is the first system to ever exceed the 100 petaflops. To help you with calculation, one petaflop equals one thousand trillion (one quadrillion) operations per second. That just went out of this world! Didn’t it?

The most significant thing about this Sunway TaihuLight will be its microprocessors. In past, China has heavily relied on the U.S microprocessors to support its supercomputing capacity. The world’s next fastest system, China’s Tianhe-2, which has a peak performance of 54.9 petaflops, uses Intel Xeon processors.

China builds World’s Fastest Supercomputer, Without US Chips!
China builds World’s Fastest Supercomputer, Without US Chips!

TaihuLight is installed in National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi. It uses ShenWei CPUs developed by Jiangnan Computing Research Lab in Wuxi. The operation system is Linux Based Chinese system, called Sunway Raise.

The TaihuLight is “very impressive,” said Jack Dongarra, a professor of computer science at the University of Tennessee and one of the academic leaders of the Top500 supercomputing list, in a report about the new system.

TaihuLight is running “sizeable applications,” which include advanced manufacturing, earth systems modeling, life science and big data applications, said Dongarra. This “shows that the system is capable of running real applications and [is] not just a stunt machine,” Dongarra said.

It was long known that China was building 100-plus petaflop system, and it was believed that China would turn to the US for chip technology. But to US’s bad luck, and wrong decision, US banned Intel from supplying Xeon chips to four of the China’s top supercomputing research center.

Seems like it didn’t work out for the US. What can China do with this? Let’s see.