• November 2011
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China Has Homemade Supercomputer Gain

 New York Times (10/28/11) John Markoff

China announced that last month it installed the Sunway BlueLight MPP at the National Supercomputer Center, its first supercomputer based on Chinese microprocessor chips.  The Sunway system can process a petaflop per second, ranking it among the 20 fastest supercomputers in the world.  The system, which consists of 8,700 ShenWei SW1600 microprocessors, features a water-cooling system that could be a significant advance in the design of the fastest machines.  University of Tennessee computer scientist Jack Dongarra says China’s announcement is “a bit of a surprise,” and notes that Sunway’s theoretical peak performance is about 74 percent as fast as the Jaguar supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the U.S.’s fastest system.  The U.S. Energy Department plans to build three supercomputers that would run at 10 to 20 petaflops.  The U.S. also is working to develop an exaflop-scale supercomputer by 2020.  Convey Computer chief scientist Steven Wallach is impressed with Sunway’s cooling system.  “This cooling technology could scale to exaflop,” Wallach says.  “They are in the hunt to win.”

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