China has just presented the first supercomputer based on Chinese microprocessor chips, an advance that surprised high-performance computing specialists in the United States. The system is also notable for its unusually low power consumption and a highly advanced cooling system. The new system, the Sunway BlueLight MPP, was installed in September at the National Supercomputer Center in Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province in eastern China.
Responding on behalf of Sunway BlueLight MPP, it was officially installed in September at the National Supercomputer Center in Jinan, capital of Shandong Province, located in eastern China. The system uses 8,700 of the SW1600 processors, which were designed at a Chinese computer institute and manufactured in Shanghai, according to Dongarra. It runs on a variant of the Linux operating system.
The Sunway system, which can perform about 1,000 trillion calculations per second – a petaflop – will probably rank among the 20 fastest computers in the world. Currently, the Chinese are about three generations behind the state-of-art chip making technologies used by world leaders such as the United States, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. Experts have been anticipating that China would build its own supercomputer, using domestically developed chips. Chinese state-run press hailed the new supercomputer as a symbol of China’s strength.