China's supercomputers to sharpen competitive edge

19:55, November 08, 2010      

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As a China-made supercomputer beat existing U.S. champion Jaguar in its calculation speed lately, Chinese high performance computer (HPC) manufacturers are inspired to sharpen their competitive edge and eye a broader international market.

The Dawning Information Industry Co., a Chinese supercomputer manufacturer, has achieved a market share of 34 percent in China, surpassing IBM's 28 percent and HP's 19 percent for two consecutive years, according to the 2010 China Top 100 List of High Performance Computers, recently released by the Specialty Association of Mathematical & Scientific Software, under the China Semiconductor Industry Association.

Nie Hua, vice president of Dawning, told Xinhua Monday, "The list shows our domestic market has gradually accepted our homemade brands of high performance computers."

"Also, our high performance computers now have a competitive edge over the internationally renowned brands," he said.

The supercomputer Dawning 6000 or Nebulae, with a computing speed of over 1, 270 trillion operations per second or 1.27 petaflops, ranked second in the TOP 500 list of the world' s most powerful supercomputers released in June.

This is also the highest rank a Chinese computing system has ever achieved.

There are now two Chinese systems in the top 10 and 24 in the top 500 on the list, following the U.S., the U.K. and France.

Supercomputers are used for highly calculation-intensive tasks in the realms including quantum physics, weather forecasting, climate research, and molecular modeling.

The supercomputer industry is marked by the fast speed of development and the Dawning 6000 will soon be eclipsed by another supercomputer co-developed by the National University of Defense and Technology and other computer science institutes.

The computing speed of the Tianhe-1 has nearly doubled that of the Dawning 6000, according to the 2010 China Top 100 List of High Performance Computers.

Tianhe-1, meaning Milky Way, is able to do 2,507 trillion operations per second, with 4,700 trillion at peak.

Its computing speed is 1.425 times faster than the previous fastest supercomputer Jaguar in the U.S..

The supercomputer is installed at the National Center for Supercomputing in north China' port city of Tianjin.

It is expected to play a substantial role in a wide range of fields including oil exploration, aviation and aerospece studies.

Experts say with the impressive computing speed, the Tianhe-1 is likely to top the next TOP 500 list to be released in mid-November in the U.S..

The previous fastest supercomputer on the previous TOP 500 list is the Jaguar, by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, with an average speed of 1,750 trillion calculations per second.

Based on the previous TOP 500 list, the U.S. is home to seven of the 10 fastest supercomputers in the world and owns over half of the top 500 supercomputers.

Source: Xinhua


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