China's fastest super computer to have China-made chips

10:01, March 09, 2010      

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China's fastest super computer "Tianhe-1," ("Tianhe" meaning Milky Way), is to be equipped this year with China-made central processing unit (CPU) chips, replacing the only part of the computer that is currently imported.

Zhang Yulin, president of the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) which developed the computer, told Xinhua Monday that the chips, also developed by the NUDT, are customized for this super computer.

"The new CPUs will greatly raise the peak speed and computing efficiency of 'Tianhe-1'," Zhang said on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress, the country' s top legislature now meeting in Beijing.

"Tianhe-1," unveiled in October last year, could rival the world's most powerful computers. Theoretically, it is capable of more than one quadrillion calculations per second when operating at peak speed.

Experts note that one day's task for "Tianhe-1" might take 160 years for a mainstream dual-core personal computer to complete.

Equipped with 6,144 Intel CPUs and 5,120 AMD graphic processing units (GPU), "Tianhe-1" is able to store the contents of all 27 million books in the National Library of China four times over.

In January, "Tianhe-1" began partial trial operations in north China's Tianjin municipality. Currently, the first batch of the computer equipment has been successfully tested, and is at the stage of customer trials.

At present, according to officials, the operational power of the first batch of equipment is equal to one-tenth of "Tianhe-1." Installation of other components of "Tianhe-1" is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

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