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China eclipses U.S. to become undisputed king of supercomputers

Daniel Nenni

Staff member
For the first time ever, China has taken the lead in the number of supercomputers on a closely watched list of the 500 fastest systems on the planet. It has 167, overtaking the U.S. at 165, according to the researchers who compile the ranking.

China has also strengthened its grip on the top of the list, with its machines taking both first and second place. And the new supercomputer that has leaped in at No. 1 -- known as Sunway TaihuLight -- is built completely on homegrown processors rather than drawing on U.S. chip technology.

The top spot had previously been held since 2013 by China's Tianhe-2, which was based on Intel (INTC, Tech30) processors.

China eclipses U.S. in world's fastest supercomputers - Jun. 2, 216

My mistake, it is not coming, it is here.......
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That it uses a Chinese processor design is interesting. Any idea who made the chips, and on what node?


About architecture:

Processor has peak performance more than 3 TFlops, which is pretty much. It is 2048 Flops/cycle, for example 24 core Intel CPU has 384 FMA Flops/cycle.

So there is possibility, that processor is just MIPS-like architecture, statically sheduled or semi-dynamic with VLIW extension. We have seen this in almost every 'red' processors in past.

In this case should fit to 28nm nodes thanks to lack of "out of order stuctures". And is has similar performance like 28nm GPU's too.

I think it is unlikely that it is fully out of order architecture. FPU with 8 ports is too much for core without multi threading. And theoretically even 16nm monolithic die (maximum ~20B transistor) will not be enough for configuration like this.

Don Dingee

Most speculation I've read says this processor, now in its 3rd generation, is a DEC Alpha derivative - nobody is 100% sure, and the conspiracy theories on how Alpha made it into Chinese hands are raging. There has been a lot of discussion over China standardizing on MIPS or Alpha. Loongsoon has several MIPS licenses for smaller parts, and Chinese HPC efforts have played with MIPS, SPARC, and Alpha.

China Lays The Chip Foundation For Its Next Platform