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Monday, November 02, 2009
China supercomputer breaks performance barrier
China's National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) has developed a supercomputer that breaks the petaflop barrier, putting China in the same league as the US and Europe for high performance computing.
The supercomputer, called "Tianhe", meaning Milky Way, is based in Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan Province.
The 155-ton system, with 103 refrigerator-like cabinets covering an area of about 1,000 square meters cost $88m and is expected to process seismic data for oil exploration, conduct bio-medical computing and help design aerospace vehicles. It uses 6,144 Intel CPUs and 5,120 AMD GPUs, and reaches a peak performance of 1.206 petaflops and 563.1 teraflops on the Linpack benchmark, making it currently the fourth most powerful machine on the planet.
China's Dawning Information Industry Company is attempting to build its own supercomputer that overcomes the petaflop barrier by 2010, and the NUDT is planning to add "hundreds or thousands of China-made CPUs" to the machine to improve its Linpack performance to over 800 teraflops.