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Made in China: Country's new supercomputer uses homegrown chips

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by jack, Nov 1, 2011.

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  1. jack

    jack FULL MEMBER

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    China is stepping up its semiconductor manufacturing efforts and using domestic chips for its latest supercomputer. It's going to be interesting to see how fast China can close in on U.S. supercomputer processor makers Intel, AMD, and Nvidia.

    The New York Times reported that a supercomputer called Sunway BlueLight MPP, was installed in September at the National Supercomputer Center in Jinan, China. The details emerged at a technical meeting. The real catch is that China used 8,700 ShenWei SW1600 chips.

    Those semiconductors are homegrown and indicate that China is aiming to be a major chip player. The New York Times story was mostly sourced to Jack Dongarra, a computer scientist at the University of Tennessee, but Chinese sites reported on the technical meeting. Dongarra helps manage the list of Top 500 supercomputers. China's previous supercomputers used Intel and Nvidia chips.

    Meanwhile, ZDNet UK highlighted the blog of Hung-Sheng Tsao, founder of HopBit GridComputing, who posted the slides detailing the Sunway BlueLight MPP, which come from IT168.com. IT168.com covered China's supercomputing powwow extensively this week.

    The Wall Street Journal noted that the China domestic supercomputing effort is very credible and signals an effort to cut the country's reliance on western companies. It's unclear whether China's chips are completely original blueprints or based on a previous design. One issue for the Sunway chips is power consumption. The Sunway supercomputer apparently doesn't need that much power relative to rivals.

    The New York Times added that that ShenWei chip appears to be based "on some of the same design principles that are favored by Intel's most advanced microprocessors."

    China's efforts appear to be a few generations behind, but rest assured the country will try to close any gaps quickly.

    Link:Made in China: Country's new supercomputer uses homegrown chips | Cutting Edge - CNET News
     
  2. jack

    jack FULL MEMBER

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    China's supercomputer surprises U.S. experts

    [​IMG]

    China has made its first supercomputer based on Chinese microprocessor chips, an advance that surprised high-performance U.S. computing specialists.

    The announcement was made this week at a technical meeting held in Jinan, China, organised by industry and government organisations. 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.

    Currently, the Chinese are about three generations behind the state-of-art chip making technologies used by world leaders such as the United States, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.

    “This is a bit of a surprise,” said Jack Dongarra, a computer scientist at the University of Tennessee and a leader of the Top500 project, a list of the world's fastest computers.

    Last fall, another Chinese based supercomputer, the Tianhe-1A, created an international sensation when it was briefly ranked as the world's fastest, before it was displaced in the spring by a rival Japanese machine, the K Computer, designed by Fujitsu.

    More info:
    Link:The Hindu : News / International : China's supercomputer surprises U.S. experts
     
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