Does China Now Have The Most Powerful Computer On The Planet?
Installed this week at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, Sunway TaihuLight easily breaks its way into the top 10 of the international Top500 list for computing systems. More impressive however, is the margin by which it beats the #2 spot(also in China) to be the most powerful computing system in the world. With over 10.5 million locally-made processing cores and 40,960 nodes Sunway TaihuLight is capable of 93 petaflops which is a term most people do not and should not ever need in their lives. Counting up trillions upon trillions is required to put that figure into perspective and it means 93 quadrillion floating-point operations per second (FLOPS). In other words… lots.
Main applications for the system for now include advanced manufacturing, weather forecasting, and big data analytics but we’ve seen computers less powerful being applied to genome mapping and heavily extensive theoretical physics equations. Software for a computer with multiple cores can be difficult to write but software to take advantage of 10 million would be almost as much effort as building the system itself depending on the goal functionality. For the nerdy out there, the Sunway TaihuLight is an extremely high-spec Grand Prix racing car. Fantastic for races in a circuit, but not something any one person would ever need in order to drive to work.
For those interested, here is the complete Top500 list