China-made supercomputers to use China-made chips by the end of 2011

14:45, March 07, 2011      

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China-made supercomputers will bid farewell to foreign chips and use China-made chips by the end of 2011, Hu Weiwu, the Godson chip's chief designer said at the ongoing session of National People's Congress on March 6.

The first supercomputer developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) to wholly use China-made chips will be installed this summer, said Hu, who is also a NPC deputy.

According to sources, there are three major units in China engaging in the development of supercomputers, namely the CAS, which is developing Dawning series; the Jiangnan Institute of Computing Technology, makers of the Shenwei series, and the National University of Defense Technology, the developer of Yinhe series.

"The three units will install self-developed CPUs by the end of 2011. They have been using foreign chips in the past or only a small number of independently developed chips," Hu said.

Hu also said that some of the indicators of current high-performance chips are even higher than foreign chips. For example, a Dawning supercomputer capable of 1 quadrillion calculations per second may need 20,000 chips if it uses Intel CPUs, but will only need fewer than 10,000 chips if it uses China-made CPUs.

CPU, also known as the central processing unit, is the core component of a computer. It is considered as the "heart of a computer." The biggest difficulty over the years of supercomputers is creating a super-high-performance CPU.
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