Is China Becoming Supercomputing Power?

(Xinhua News Agency, Nov. 19, 2016. Complete text:) Salt Lake City, US - Is China now becoming a supercomputing power?

Judging just by numbers, it looks that way. According to the latest edition of the Top500 list released this week at Salt Lake City, China currently not only hosts the top two fastest supercomputers in the world, but also ties with the US for first place in the total number of installed systems.

The machine sitting on top of the rankings, called Sunway TaihuLight, is especially remarkable in that it’s almost exclusively based on technology developed in China, including processors. What’s more, it delivers almost the same performance as the next five most powerful systems on the semiannual list combined.

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However, many experts, especially those from China, have different views. While China is rapidly on the rise on the global supercomputing stage, the country still has a long way to go to become a peer competitor to the US, they believe.

Rapid development.

"I was quite impressed with the engineering quality of TaihuLight, different from previous Chinese machines," Professor Satoshi Matsuoka from the Tokyo Institute of Technology tweeted after a close look at the system himself at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, China, in early November.

In particular, Satoshi, a renowned supercomputing expert, mentioned of the machine’s "excellent" physical design, "aggressive" designs, "impressive" software and application efforts, as well as "no expensive parts."

As a result, he concluded that China "now truly rivals US, Japan" in the field of high performance computing (HPC).

How things have changed! Back in 2001, none of the systems on the Top500 list were installed in China.

"It’s clear that there has been a lot of investments in this technology if you look at, maybe, a 15-year timeframe from about 2000 on, ...

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