A new supercomputer created by China has blown its nearest competitors out of the water and once again proven the growing dominance of Chinese supercomputers in a race that was once controlled firmly by the United States.
According to Top500, which compiles a list of the fastest supercomputer twice a year, the Sunway TaihuLight outperforms the lists previous champion, another Chinese computer known as Tianhe-2, by a factor of three. The supercomputer has 10.5 million processing cores and is capable of performing a peek of 93 quadrillion calculations per second.
The fastest US supercomputer comes in third on the Top500 list and is about five times slower than Sunway TaihuLight. China has also passed the US in terms of total supercomputers in the top 500, with 167 to the US’s 165, an incredible feat considering the fact China didn’t have a single computer on the list in 2001.
What is impressing many is the fact that Sunway TaihuLight is built entirely on technology developed natively -funded by a government program trying to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign technology- and entirely avoided the US based Intel Corp. technology that has been used for previous Top500 champions.
The Chinese further encouraged to develop this technology themselves after the US government ruled in 2015 that the export of high-performance computer parts to China was working against their national security interests, particularly the nuclear capabilities of such systems.
The Sunway TaihuLight, however, will reportedly be used for scientific purposes like earth system modeling and life sciences, as well as manufacturing.