China made a supercomputer that ranked in Top500 as the fastest supercomputer in the world. The computer is called Sunway TaihuLight, and its processor runs 93 petaflops. This is the 7th time China is on top of the list, but this is the first time the country uses their chips. The computer is located at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, China.

Top500 published on Monday their rank to establish which are the fastest supercomputers in the world. On top of the list is the Sunway TaihuLight that runs a ShenWei processor capable of 93 petaflops, meaning it can run a million billion floating-point operations per second of sustained performance.

China is the first country to make a supercomputer that exceeds 100 petaflops in performance. Its peak performance goes to 125.4, according to PC World.

China made a supercomputer that ranked in Top500 as the fastest supercomputer in the world. Photo credit: Li Xiang / Xinhua News Agency / AP / Christian Science Monitor
China made a supercomputer that ranked in Top500 as the fastest supercomputer in the world. Photo credit: Li Xiang / Xinhua News Agency / AP / Christian Science Monitor

The Chinese supercomputer is more efficient than the second supercomputer on the list at Top500, which uses 17.8 megawatts, while the Sunway TaihuLight uses 15.3 megawatts.

This supercomputer has a ShenWie SW26010 processor. It has a 260-core chip, and every core has a performance of 3 teraflops, which is 3 trillion floating-point operations per second. Commonly, regular computers have up to 2 cores.

Top500 compared this core to Intel’s latest chip: the Xeon Phi chip, better known by the name Knights Landing.

The Sunway TaihuLight has 10,649,600 staggering cores over 40,960 nodes which were developed at the National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering and Technology in China.

The supercomputer chip is the Sunway BlueLight MPP. It was rated at number 14 in 2011 by Top500. This is also the first time a Chinese supercomputer with an indigenous chip reaches the top of the rank of Top500.

Regarding the chip, it is a 64bit RISC processor and Top500 speculates this piece of technology is based on the DEC Alpha architecture, says PC World. It was built by the Shanghai High-Performance IC Design Center.

The Chinese supercomputer also has a homegrown interconnection, based on PCI-Express 3.0.

The U.S. banned the export of some Intel products to China.

Before the Sunway TaihuLight, China was using Intel technology to build supercomputers, The last one to use American chips was the Tiahne-2, which recently was on the top of the Top500 ranking.

PC World reports that The U.S accuses China of allegedly used two of its supercomputers, the Tianhe-2, and the Tianhe-1, in nuclear weapon tests. To prevent American technology to be used against the country’s interests, the U.S banned these type of exports to China.

As a result, China started to develop its technology, and now the country has the fastest supercomputer in the world.

This self-production gives China an opportunity to stand among other nations as a commercial partner to export chips. It allows the country to reduce costs and thus, to compete against top chip makers like Intel and IBM.

China intends to bargain their chips against Intel, IBM and Qualcomm to make concessions to make business in their country.

The Sunway BlueLight MPP is not the first chip China has developed. In the past few years, the Chinese have made a chip named Godson, and it has been used in regular PCs.

There is a constant race between the U.S., Japan, and European countries to build the fastest supercomputer, but China has won the race seven years in a row. At this year Top500 list, the U.S had 165 systems and China 167. Japan only had 29.

The second supercomputer on the Top500’s list is made by the U.S.

And is located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Tennessee. Other countries in the top 10 are Japan, Germany, Switzerland and Saudi Arabia.

The ultimate goal is to build a supercomputer capable of an exaflop performance, which is a million trillion calculations per second. The project is expected to be done by 2020, PC World says.

Surprisingly, by 2001, China did not appear in Top500 rank but by 2016 the country holds the title for the fastest supercomputer in the world. Top500 organizers said that ten years ago China only claimed 28 system of the list, none among the fastest 30, and now is has grown further and faster than any other country.

The Sunway TaihuLight will be used for research in different areas including advanced manufacturing, data analysis, life science research and engineering work in earth system modeling, climate and weather.

Supercomputers are one of the objectives of China’s Communist Party and the projects financially supported by the government.

The Sunway TaihuLight will be introduced at the International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt on Tuesday. It will be presented by Guangwen Yang, the director of the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, CNS News says.

Source: PC World