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nk-1911
05-31-2010, 8:42 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/01/science/01compute.html

Chinese Supercomputer Is Ranked World’s Second-Fastest, Challenging U.S. Dominance
By JOHN MARKOFF
Published: May 31, 2010
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SAN FRANCISCO — A Chinese supercomputer has been ranked as the world’s second-fastest machine, surpassing European and Japanese systems and underscoring China’s aggressive commitment to science and technology.

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Get Science News From The New York Times » The Dawning Nebulae, based at the National Supercomputing Center in Shenzhen, China, has achieved a sustained computing speed of 1.27 petaflops — the equivalent of one thousand trillion mathematical operations a second — in the latest semiannual ranking of the world’s fastest 500 computers.

The newest ranking was made public on Monday at the International Supercomputer Conference in Hamburg, Germany. Supercomputers are used for scientific and engineering problems as diverse as climate simulation and automotive design.

The Chinese machine is actually now ranked as the world’s fastest in terms of theoretical peak performance, but that is considered a less significant measure than the actual computing speed achieved on a standardized computing test.

The world’s fastest computer remains the Cray Jaguar supercomputer, based at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Last November it was measured at 1.75 petaflops.

In the previous year’s ranking, the Chinese had the fifth-fastest computer, a system that was based at a National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin, China. That machine has now dropped to seventh place.

The United States continues to be the dominant maker of supercomputers, and is the nation with the most machines in the top 500. The United States has 282 of the world’s fastest 500 computers on the new list, an increase from 277 when the rankings were compiled in November.

But China appears intent on challenging American dominance. There had been some expectation that China would make an effort to complete a system based on Chinese-designed components in time for the June ranking. The Nebulae is based on chips from Intel and Nvidia.

The new system, which is based on a microprocessor that has been designed and manufactured in China, is now expected later this year. A number of supercomputing industry scientists and engineers said that it was possible that the new machine would claim the title of world’s fastest.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if by the end of this year they surpass the scientific computing power of the E.U. countries combined and have a computer system with an achieved performance to reach the No. 1 position on the top 500,” said Jack Dongarra, a computer scientist at the University of Tennessee and one of the researchers who has organized the twice-yearly rankings.

Americans designed the first machines that were defined as supercomputers during the 1960s, and the United States has rarely been dislodged from its controlling position as technology leader. In 2002, however, the Japanese government’s Earth Simulator set off anxiety in Washington when that system briefly claimed the top position.

The United States then began investing heavily in the computing systems, breaking the petaflop barrier in 2008.

It is now preparing to begin a sustained push to build systems capable of computing at what is known as exascale performance — one thousand times faster than today’s fastest systems. The goal is to realize that technological achievement between 2018 and 2020.

Editors' Note: May 31, 2010


An earlier version of this story misstated the nature of the work performed by the Cray Jaguar supercomputer based at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. It is used for unclassified research.

winnre
05-31-2010, 8:48 PM
I get the feeling we paid for it.

NSR500
06-01-2010, 11:27 PM
We most likely designed and developed it for them.

ocabj
06-02-2010, 3:22 PM
I'm sure there's larger unofficial 'supercomputers'. They're called botnets.

JDay
06-02-2010, 3:41 PM
I'm sure there's larger unofficial 'supercomputers'. They're called botnets.

Not to mention all the classified supercomputers.

tacticalcity
06-02-2010, 4:06 PM
We most likely designed and developed it for them.

We don't design them "for them", they just steal our tech and nobody does anything about it.

buffybuster
06-02-2010, 4:53 PM
We don't design them "for them", they just steal our tech and nobody does anything about it.

Steal..........Hell, were practically giving it to them. Is it theft, when it's practically out in the open.....

NSR500
06-02-2010, 5:07 PM
We don't design them "for them", they just steal our tech and nobody does anything about it.

They do steal from us, but there is a lot that we give them on a silver platter. I've got firsthand experience in how they get some "Big Iron" for computing.

nk-1911
06-02-2010, 7:01 PM
It's impossible to protect IP when corporations opened factory in China. I guess profit and bottom line are more important.

Satex
06-02-2010, 7:16 PM
Supercomputers are used for scientific and engineering problems as diverse as climate simulation and automotive design.


I always find it funny how they always forget the top use for super computers: nuclear weapon design & simulation. After all, I doubt they do much weather forecast at Oak Ridge.

Skipper
06-02-2010, 8:12 PM
When you hit the On switch, does it go Crick?

:D

nk-1911
06-03-2010, 8:29 AM
You clazy! LOL

Toast
06-03-2010, 9:44 AM
But will the US computer be fast and give you lead poisoning?

CHS
06-03-2010, 3:53 PM
The US has 50% of *ALL* super computers in the world.

I don't think there's much need for us to be too scared ;)

TonyM
06-04-2010, 11:06 PM
But China appears intent on challenging American dominance. There had been some expectation that China would make an effort to complete a system based on Chinese-designed components in time for the June ranking. The Nebulae is based on chips from Intel and Nvidia.


Santa Clara Technology, FTW.

RE: China building their own with their technology:

It's going to be hard for them to design a GPU and figure out how to enable the stream processors in one w/o some serious development time and mistakes along the way. Good luck trying to compete with Tesla GPUs in the arena of OpenCL and CUDA.

http://top500.org/lists/2010/06/press-release



China’s new Nebulae Supercomputer is No. 2, right on the Tail of ORNL’s Jaguar in Newest TOP500 List of Fastest Supercomputers

Fri, 2010-05-28 00:31
HAMBURG, Germany—China’s ambition to enter the supercomputing arena have become obvious with a system called Nebulae, build from a Dawning TC3600 Blade system with Intel X5650 processors and NVidia Tesla C2050 GPUs. Nebulae is currently the fastest system worldwide in theoretical peak performance at 2.98 PFlop/s. With a Linpack performance of 1.271 PFlop/s it holds the No. 2 spot on the 35th edition of the closely watched TOP500 list of supercomputers.

The newest version of the TOP500 list, which is issued twice yearly, will be formally presented on Monday, May 31st, at the ISC’10 Conference to be held at the CCH-Congress Center in Hamburg, Germany.

Jaguar, which is located at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, held on to the No. 1 spot on the TOP500 with its record 1.75 petaflop/s performance speed running the Linpack benchmark. Jaguar has a theoretical peak capability of 2.3 petaflop/s and nearly a quarter of a million cores. One petaflop/s refers to one quadrillion calculations per second.

Nebulae, which is located at the newly build National Supercomputing Centre in Shenzhen, China, achieved 1.271 PFlop/s running the Linpack benchmark, which puts it in the No. 2 spot on the TOP500 behind Jaguar. In part due to its NVidia GPU accelerators, Nebulae reports an impressive theoretical peak capability of almost 3 petaflop/s – the highest ever on the TOP500.

Roadrunner, which was the first ever petaflop/s system at Los Alamos in June 2008, dropped to No. 3 with a performance of 1.04 petaflop/s.

At No. 5 is the most powerful system in Europe -- an IBM BlueGene/P supercomputer located at the Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ) in Germany. It achieved 825.5 teraflop/s on the Linpack benchmark.

Tianhe-1 (meaning River in Sky), installed at the National Super Computer Center in Tianjin, China is a second Chinese system in the TOP10 and ranked at No. 7. Tianhe-1 and Nebulae are both hybrid designs with Intel Xeon processors and AMD or NVidia GPUs used as accelerators. Each node of Tianhe-1 consists of two AMD GPUs attached to two Intel Xeon processors.

The performance of Nebulae and Tianhe-1 were enough to catapult China in the No.2 spot of installed performance (9.2 percent) ahead of various European countries, but still clearly behind the U.S. (55.4 percent).

Here are some other highlights from the latest list showing changes from the November 2009 edition:

The entry level to the list moved up to the 24.7 teraflop/s mark on the Linpack benchmark from 20 teraflop/s six months ago. The last system on the newest list would have been listed at position 357 in the previous TOP500 just six months ago. This replacement rate was far below average. This might reflect the impact of the recession and purchase delays due to anticipation of new products with six or more core processor technologies replacing current quad-core based systems.
Quad-core processor based systems have saturated the TOP500 with now 425 systems using them. However, processor with six or more cores per processor can already be found in 25 systems.
A total of 408 systems (81.6 percent) are now using Intel processors. This is slightly up from six months ago (402 systems, 80.4 percent). Intel continues to provide the processors for the largest share of TOP500 systems. The AMD Opteron is the second most common used processor family with 47 systems (9.4 percent), up from 42. They are followed by the IBM Power processors with 42 systems (8.4 percent), down from 52.
IBM and Hewlett-Packard continue to sell the bulk of systems at all performance levels of the TOP500. HP lost its narrow lead in systems to IBM and has now 185 systems (37 percent) compared to IBM with 198 systems (39.8 percent). HP had 210 systems (42 percent) six months ago, compared to IBM with 186 systems (37.2 percent). In the system category, Cray, SGI, and Dell follow with 4.2 percent, 3.4 percent and 3.4 percent respectively.
IBM remains the clear leader in the TOP500 list in performance with 33.6 percent of installed total performance (down from 35.1 percent), compared to HP with 20.4 percent (down from 23 percent). In the performance category, the manufacturers with more than 5 percent are: Cray (14.8 percent of performance) and SGI (6.6 percent), each of which benefits from large systems in the TOP10.
The U.S. is clearly the leading consumer of HPC systems with 282 of the 500 systems (up from 277). The European share (144 systems – down from 152) is still substantially larger then the Asian share (57 systems – up from 51). In Europe, UK remains the No. 1 with 38 systems (45 six months ago). France passed Germany and has now 29 (up from 26). Germany is still now the No. 3 spot with 24 systems (27 six months ago). Dominant countries in Asia are China with 24 systems (up from 21), Japan with 18 systems (up from 16), and India with 5 systems (up from 3).
The TOP500 list is compiled by Hans Meuer of the University of Mannheim, Germany; Erich Strohmaier and Horst Simon of NERSC/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. For more information, visit www.TOP500.org.