Feeds

HPC might rises in the Far East

Like the space race. But with petaflops

Intelligent flash storage arrays

As spring turns into summer, we get – like clockwork – a new Top 500 list. While there’s plenty of analysis yet to be done, what’s getting lots of press is how the Chinese National Supercomputing Center has captured the number two slot on the list with their 1.27 petaflop (sustained), 4,640 GPU monster box. This system is noteworthy not only from a performance standpoint, but also because it relies so heavily on NVIDIA GPUs, further confirming a trend toward hybrid CPU/GPU computing.

Much of the attention will be focused on the big move that China Inc. has made on the list. There are two China-based systems in the top ten, and the Chinese own 24 systems in the Top 500. In total performance, this puts China behind only the US as a supercomputing powerhouse. There is speculation that by this time next year, China is going to be rolling out a new, all-China-designed supercomputer that might be the fastest in the world.

This is somewhat reminiscent of the space race, when the USSR and the US vied for dominance in the heavens. Reinforcing this thought are various conversations I’ve had with HPC gurus who increasingly see countries regarding HPC capacity as a national asset that can be used to improve economic competitiveness through improved material science research and product design. Essentially, HPC can be a national resource to help domestic industries dominate world markets. Of course, it’s also pretty good for doing economic research and weapons design too.

Is the specter of a committed communist government taking the lead in supercomputing something new to be scared of? Yeah, it might be. I (along with a lot of other people) believe that innovation springs from strong, basic research – and that strong, basic research is enabled by plentiful processing resources. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
Turnbull should spare us all airline-magazine-grade cloud hype
Box-hugger is not a dirty word, Minister. Box-huggers make the cloud WORK
SanDisk vows: We'll have a 16TB SSD WHOPPER by 2016
Flash WORM has a serious use for archived photos and videos
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.