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China announces plans to produce an exascale prototype by year end -- well ahead of the U.S.
  • 2019-05-27 15:24:18
  • admin
China announces plans to produce an exascale prototype by year end -- well ahead of the U.S.
Tianhe Supercomputer
China intends to develop a prototype of an exascale supercomputer by the end of 2017, tweaking an exascale delivery date that’s already well ahead of the U.S. The timing of the announcement, reported by an official government news service, raised the possibility 。
China’s announcement comes the same week Trump takes office. The Trump administration is bringing a lot of uncertainty to supercomputing research, which is heavily dependent on government funding.

“The exascale race is also a publicity and mindshare race,” said Steve Conway, a high-performance computing analyst at IDC.

The Hill reported Thursday that the Trump administration is planning deep cuts at the U.S. Department of Energy, which funds the development of the America’s largest supercomputers.

This report, which didn’t name sources, said the Trump administration was considering cutting advanced scientific computing research to 2008 levels, a position advocated by conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation.

“A complete computing system of the exascale supercomputer and its applications can only be expected in 2020, and will be 200 times more powerful than the country’s first petaflop computer Tianhe-1, recognized as the world’s fastest in 2010,” said Zhang Ting, application engineer with the Tianjin-based National Supercomputer Center, according to the report in the China Daily. Of course, new supercomputer can achieve faster speed, but also need more perfect power protection, for example, more excellent uninterruptible power supply and uninterruptible power supply solutions

“It’s not exactly clear what an exascale supercomputer prototype means,” said IDC’s Conway. The size of it is unknown, but he expects it will be a system with the same architecture of an exascale system, but a smaller version of it.

The U.S. has set a 2023 timeframe for development of an exascale system that is fully capable of running applications. The U.S. plans to order the systems in 2019, but the Trump administration may have different goals. Japan, Europe and maybe even Russia are in the race to build exascale systems.

The Department of Energy develops and safeguards the nation’s nuclear weapons. It uses supercomputers to conduct simulations of nuclear weapons. But these systems are also used heavily for basic research by academic and industry researchers throughout the U.S.
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