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Defense ­niversity Builds China's Fastest Supercomputer


Tianhe supercomputer

China's fastest super computer "Tianhe," meaning Milky Way, was unveiled Thursday (Oct. 29). The supercomputer is theoretically able to execute one petaflop at peak speed.

Credit: He Shuyuan / Xinhua

China's National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) has unveiled the Tianhe supercomputer, the fastest supercomputer in China. Tianhe runs at 563.1 teraflops on the Linpack benchmark and is theoretically capable of petaflop performance. NUDT president Zhang Yulin says the system is expected to be used to process seismic data for oil exploration, perform bio-medical computing, and help design aerospace vehicles.

If Tianhe had been operational for the most recent Top 500 list, it would have ranked as the world's fourth-most powerful supercomputer. NUDT says that approximately 200 computer scientists worked on Tianhe over two years. The supercomputer was housed at the NUDT campus in Changsha, and is scheduled to be moved to the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin at the end of this year.

Tianhe features 6,144 Intel CPUs and 5,120 AMD GPUs. "As far as I know, a combination of CPU and GPU is something new used to make a petaflop computer," says NUDT professor Zhou Xingming. "After it's installed in Tianjin, we plan to add hundreds or thousands of China-made CPUs to the machine, and improve its Linpack performance to over 800 teraflops." Tianhe also could be ranked as the world's fifth-greenest supercomputer on the Green500 List, which is compiled by researchers at Virginia Tech to rank the world's most energy-efficient supercomputers.

From Xinhua (China)
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