A Chinese Supercomputer Is Officially the World's Fastest

June 20, 2016 | Admin

Sunway TaihuLight Supercomputer
Photo credit: ©Science China Press. The Sunway TaihuLight Supercomputer

And it's built with Chinese (not American) processors.

Source: Science China Press

The Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer is the first system in the world that has a peak performance of over 100 PFlops. It is a complete homegrown supercomputer, and is operated by the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi (NSCC-Wuxi). As the world's fastest supercomputer, it contributes largely to research fields such as earth system modeling, ocean surface wave modeling, atomistic simulation, and phase-field simulation. Three of the applications have managed to scale to the full system, and have been nominated as the finalists for the Gordon Bell award of 2016, which is the highest honor in the domain of high performance computing applications.

An overall introduction to the TaihuLight system, "The Sunway TaihuLight Supercomputer: System and Applications", written by Dr. Haohuan Fu, the deputy director of NSCC-Wuxi, and the other authors, is published on SCIENCE CHINA Information Sciences. It provides a detailed illustration of the Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer, and its subsystems, including: the software system, the hardware system, the power system, the architecture of the new SW260101 many-core processor, and it also provides introductions to how research fields, such as earth system modeling, ocean surface wave modeling, atomistic simulation, and phase-field simulation, benefit from the supercomputer.

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Since the development of supercomputers in the 1970s, scientific computing has become a major scientific paradigm that is as important as the theoretical and experimental branches of the discipline. The computational paradigm has been applied to various scientific domains, such as climate modeling, earth subsurface modeling and inversion, sky simulation, and phase-field simulation, with significant contributions to the advancement of those fields. With scientific advancements, the models that scientists simulate are becoming increasingly complex, and the temporal and spatial resolutions they require are also increasing rapidly. All these factors contribute to the demand for progressively greater computing power.

With the support of the National High Technology Research and Development Program (863 Program) of China, we have seen the swift development of Chinese supercomputer systems. As a successor of the Sunway BlueLight system, the Sunway TaihuLight system marks that supercomputers have entered the era of 100 PFlops.

The peak performance of the Sunway TaihuLight is 125 Pflops, the Linpack performance is 93 PFlops, and the performance per Watt is 6.05 GFlops/W.

One major technology innovation of the Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer is the homegrown SW26010 many-core processor, which includes 4 management processing elements (MPEs) and 256 computing processing elements (CPEs), and provides a peak performance over 3.06 TFlops.

The Sunway TaihuLight has already provided computational support to research universities and institutes in China, such as Tsinghua University, Beijing Normal University, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the First Institute of Oceanography, and achieved significant performance results in key research domains.


This article has be republished from materials provided by Science China Press.

Research paper:

Fu H H, Liao J F, Yang J Z, et al. The Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer: system and applications. Sci China Inf Sci, 2016, 59(7): 072001. DOI: 10.1007/s11432-016-5588-7

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