China Overtakes U.S. with World's Fastest Supercomputer

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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China Overtakes U.S. with World's Fastest Supercomputer



The United States has long held the world's fastest computer within its borders but China just made a mega-computer that makes ours look like a pocket calculator.

Tianhe-1A took Chinese scientists at the National University of Defense Technology in Changsha 2 years to complete. The project total cost $88 million and the 200 scientists and technicians working on the supercomputer clocked the Tianhe-1A (which means Milky Way in Chinese) at performing 2.507 petaflops at its peak. That's a quatrillion calculations per second, which beats out the Cray XT5 Jaguar housed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee (1.75 petaflops).

"The scientific research that is now possible with a system of this scale is almost without limits; we could not be more pleased with the results," said Guangming Liu, head of National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin where the Tianhe-1A is housed.

The sheer scale of this super-computer is staggering. The Tianhe-1A is housed in 103 cabinets that resemble large refrigerators. The entire computer weighs 155 tons and occupies an area of about 1,000 square meters. All of the computing power is supplied by 7,168 Nvidia Tesla M2050 graphics processor units (GPUs) and 14,336 Intel Xeon central processing units (CPUs). Using Nvidia chips instead of standard CPUs is more efficient, but its estimated annual electricity bill is still $2.7 million.

The Tianhe-1A is definitely impressive but I wonder how it will compare to the computers of the future as predicted by Douglas Adams. Is it a more fiendish disputant than the Great Hyperlobic Omni-Cognate Neutron Wrangler of Ciceronicus 12? Can it talk all four legs off an Acturan mega-donkey and persuade it to go for walk afterwards? Will the Tianhe-1A be able to calculate the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything?

Until then, molest me not with this pocket calculator stuff.

Source: IBTimes [http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/76731/20101028/tianhe-1a-tianhe-supercomputer-fastest-supercomputer-china-us-nvidia-amd-gpum-cpu-chip-semiconductor.htm]

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Danpascooch

Zombie Specialist
Apr 16, 2009
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Ok, it's one thing for the US to be beaten by Japan or maybe Korea in this department, but CHINA!? SERIOUSLY!? Fuck that, we need to make a new megacomputer

2.507 petaflops
That is a hilarious unit
 

SachielOne

Former Escapecraft Op
Aug 10, 2009
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Anyone want to start a pool on how long before an "accidental" EMP takes this thing out?
 

Brotherofwill

New member
Jan 25, 2009
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at performing 2.507 petaflops at its peak.
Chinese Professor: 2.507 petaflops? 2.507 PETAFLOPS???!! *almost faints*
2.5...2 point....I gotta *wanders off*

Random Guy: What? What the hell is a Petaflop?
 

Onyx Oblivion

Borderlands Addict. Again.
Sep 9, 2008
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[HEADING=2]2.507 PETAFLOPS?![/HEADING]
A petaflop is a measure of a computer's processing speed and can be expressed as a thousand trillion floating point operations per second.

http://www.petaflop.info/

HOLY. FUCKING. SHIT.
 

hansari

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May 31, 2009
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Greg Tito said:
"The scientific research that is now possible with a system of this scale is almost without limits; we could not be more pleased with the results,"
They don't provide any examples? 88million isn't small change, lets hear it!!!

(oh wait, this is China...)
 

Fraught

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Aug 2, 2008
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They should stop making this "super-computer" shit, and try developing new kick-ass computers for the public quicker.

Even with all that said, 2.507 petaflops is...heh, pretty badass.
 

thiosk

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Sep 18, 2008
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Despite the fact that its a brand-new supercomputer, I relish the fact that the intel and nvidia chips used in its construction are still manufactured (or, at least developed, im not sure where nvidia plants are located) in the united states. Stringing more of them together than anyone else in the world does not really constitute a new advance, despite the power of the tool.

Supercomputers are a funny thing. You build them, they're the best in the world, and then somebody else gets a bunch of money together and builds theirs using the next generation chips. Theirs is then the fastest in the world, until the next guy comes along and builds another one with even newer chips. More important than anything is what science is being accomplished with these computers.
 

Elementlmage

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Aug 14, 2009
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danpascooch said:
Ok, it's one thing for the US to be beaten by Japan or maybe Korea in this department, but CHINA!? SERIOUSLY!? Fuck that, we need to make a new megacomputer

2.507 petaflops
That is a hilarious unit
If it's any consolation, the processors they are using are American/Israeli and the GPUs are Japanese. I don't think they have any tech of their own in that computer. Yet again, China leaches off of the rest of the world and decrees themselves to be the greatest.
 

Denamic

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Aug 19, 2009
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Distributed computing can and does blow that out of the water.
Just [email protected] alone is currently computing at 2.777 petaflops.
And that's just a small minority of computer users.
If more people did it, we'd start measuring it in exaflops before long.
 

WaderiAAA

Derp Master
Aug 11, 2009
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Let's just hope they don't insert any human intelligence into that computer, because then it will take over the world in nineteen nanoseconds or something.
 

tk1989

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May 20, 2008
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Elementlmage said:
danpascooch said:
Ok, it's one thing for the US to be beaten by Japan or maybe Korea in this department, but CHINA!? SERIOUSLY!? Fuck that, we need to make a new megacomputer

2.507 petaflops
That is a hilarious unit
If it's any consolation, the processors they are using are American/Israeli and the GPUs are Japanese. I don't they have any tech of their own in that computer. Yet again, China leaches off of the rest of the world and decrees themselves to be the greatest.
I bet the products were "Made in China" however, LOL! :p
 

lostzombies.com

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Apr 26, 2010
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danpascooch said:
Ok, it's one thing for the US to be beaten by Japan or maybe Korea in this department, but CHINA!? SERIOUSLY!? Fuck that, we need to make a new megacomputer
I'm sure most western countries have secret ones that are equal to if not more powerful than this. The only difference is that we don't advertise them so people don't know where to send their new government made computer viruses for shits and giggles