China has laid claim to the top spot for World’s Fastest Computer. China’s new Tianhe-A1 weighs in at about 155 tons; Tianhe-A1 means “Milky Way” and can compute at 2,507 trillion calculations per second! In data processing jargon, that’s 2.507 petaflops (a petaflop is a measure of a computer’s processing speed and can be expressed as a thousand trillion floating point operations per second).
Tianhe-A1 was developed at the National University of Defense Technology, under supervision of the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Education. Tianhe-A1, or “Milky Way” does its warp-speed “thinking” at the National Center for Supercomputing in Tianjin, China. Nvidia, the developer of the computing whiz, is utilizing the “Milky Way” for research, as a means of promoting its new and improved GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) as more flexible and diverse than those of Intel or AMD; these chips will soon be available in laptops and desktops.
The director of the Supercomputing Center, Liu Guangming, says the new computer is being used in trials in both the Tianjin Meteorological Bureau and the National Offshore Oil Corporation Data Center. In addition, it will serve in bio-medical research, in the animation industry, and in the field of astrophysics.
The Tianhe-A1 is comprised of 7,168 of the Nvidia GPUs, and 14,336 Intel Xeon CPUs, at a cost of about $88,000,000.00! For contrast, your home desktop, is comprised of about two CPUs and one GPU. The “Milky Way”, now the fastest supercomputer ever made, clocks in at 1.4 times the pace of the Oak Ridge, Tennessee, “Jaguar” at Oak Ridge National Laboratories.Powered by Sidelines