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China's Super Computer is an Intel/AMD Hybrid

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 55 comments

China's latest supercomputer can complete more than 1 quadrillion calculations per second. KAPOW!

Is it the Godzilla of the computer industry? That's what China is hoping with its latest and fastest supercomputer named Tianhe. At peak speed, this mechanical monster, housed at China's National University of Defense Technology in Changsha, can complete more than 1 quadrillion (one petaflop) calculations per second. For a current personal computer, the same calculations would take 160 years to complete.

Currently Tianhe's technical data has been submitted to the world's top-500 computing list for November's listing. Had Tianhe made its appearance earlier this year, it would have scored 4th on June's list, beating Shanghai's Magic Cube to take the top spot locally in China (Tianhe is five time's faster than the Shanghai supercomputer).

So what's inside this thing? According to Shanghai Daily, the one-petaflop beast cost organizations a meager $88 million to build (600 million Yuan). There are a total of 6,144 Intel CPUs and 5,120 AMD GPUs, and has enough storage to digitally contain all 27 million books in China's National Library four times over. However there are plans to implement local CPUs, either by adding to the existing Intel library or removing Intel altogether.

"As far as I know, the combination of CPUs and GPU is something new in making a petaflop computer," said Zhou Xingming, a CAS academician and a NUDT professor. "A GPU plays a role as an accelerator to make the computer run faster and also reduces its power consumption and cost. After it is installed in Tianjin, we plan to add hundreds or thousands of China-made CPUs to the machine and improve its performance."

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Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    bill gates is your daddy , October 30, 2009 5:47 PM
    ricdiculusBut dose it play Crysis??


    you sir...are an asshat
  • 16 Hide
    ktasley , October 30, 2009 5:57 PM
    ATI+AMD one company, yes. ATI is AMD's. So is saying AMD's gpus really so bad?
  • 11 Hide
    cah027 , October 30, 2009 5:28 PM
    Wow.! I wonder how it compares to the number 1 supercomputer!
Other Comments
  • 11 Hide
    cah027 , October 30, 2009 5:28 PM
    Wow.! I wonder how it compares to the number 1 supercomputer!
  • 23 Hide
    bill gates is your daddy , October 30, 2009 5:47 PM
    ricdiculusBut dose it play Crysis??


    you sir...are an asshat
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , October 30, 2009 5:57 PM
    stop... asking... that stupid... question. ragequit
  • 16 Hide
    ktasley , October 30, 2009 5:57 PM
    ATI+AMD one company, yes. ATI is AMD's. So is saying AMD's gpus really so bad?
  • 9 Hide
    cybrcatter , October 30, 2009 5:59 PM
    Quote:
    After it is installed in Tianjin, we plan to add hundreds or thousands of China-made CPUs to the machine and improve its performance

    China is dead serious about making every product they need within its own borders.What's crazier than the notion that they really want to have a completely self contained, non-dependent economy, is the fact that they have the manpower and resources to actually do it.
  • 11 Hide
    Supertrek32 , October 30, 2009 6:14 PM
    cybrcatterChina is dead serious about making every product they need within its own borders.What's crazier than the notion that they really want to have a completely self contained, non-dependent economy, is the fact that they have the manpower and resources to actually do it.

    Most Americans have the same crazy notion, but are just too cheap for it to happen....
  • 5 Hide
    superblahman123 , October 30, 2009 6:22 PM
    evolve60The title is extremely miss leading. ''There are a total of 6,144 Intel CPUs and 5,120 AMD GPUs''As much as I know, AMD does not make GPU's, ATI does AMD makes CPUs, even if their one company they still have their own distinct names and branding.


    AMD is technically the flagship name for the company, so this is only misleading to those that don't pay attention.

    It would be nice to know which kinds of Intel CPUs and AMD GPUs it is using, like knowing if every single one of them are Core i7 Extremes ;-D
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , October 30, 2009 6:25 PM
    ricdiculusBut dose it play Crysis??

    Hell, it could probably perform the calculations to play Crysis Holographic Scale the size of your room and still beat your ass!

    - Beam me up Scotty!
  • 0 Hide
    dark_lord69 , October 30, 2009 6:44 PM
    What would you use something like that for?
  • 4 Hide
    dark_lord69 , October 30, 2009 6:46 PM
    ricdiculusBut dose it play Crysis??

    LOL!! Of course it does that's why the Chinese built it!!
  • 4 Hide
    steiner666 , October 30, 2009 6:46 PM
    intel & amd? There can be no such union!
  • 3 Hide
    kageryu , October 30, 2009 6:55 PM
    HERESY~!! SPRAY IT WITH HOLY WATER!! THEN BURN IT!!! KILL IT WITH FIRE!! THEN SPRAY IT WITH HOLY WATER AGAIN!!! THIS IS BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE CPU GODS!

    /s
  • 0 Hide
    r0ck3tm@n , October 30, 2009 7:02 PM
    Quote:
    What would you use something like that for?


    There are calculations this supercomputer won't be able to do in one lifetime and there are some problems that we don't know how to write a program to solve.

    I think that we need to take some qualitative steps in other directions in the design of a computer that will solve problems in different ways. However, what I'm seeing is somewhat a step in that direction because using the AMD (sorry ATI) cards is making use of those little gpu core things and this is essentially a move towards a heterogeneous architecture.

    I would like to see an attempt at using an analog cpu on a PCIe card for "scientific" computing in the same way these graphics cards are being used.
  • -8 Hide
    akhodjaev , October 30, 2009 7:11 PM
    Intel+AMD+Chinese processor
    Hmm
    tomorrow we will see a benchmark of those 3, showing that chinese processor beating other to combined...

    Intel and AMD check your Security and make sure that nobody can still it like Chinese downloaded 600gb from Worldbank...

    Chinese have a manpower to put 40nm processor by hand:) 
  • 10 Hide
    wildwell , October 30, 2009 7:20 PM
    ricdiculusBut dose it play Crysis??


    No, the Chinese probably block it as too much Western influence.
  • 4 Hide
    wildwell , October 30, 2009 7:23 PM
    "We plan to add hundreds or thousands of China-made CPUs to the machine and improve its performance."

    Seriously? I doubt they can ever get "Thousands of China-made CPUs" to work at the same time. lol
  • 7 Hide
    wira020 , October 30, 2009 7:25 PM
    Could this thing calculate the formula for world peace?..

    Would love to see some Crysis benchmark on this... maybe on a resolution the size of Shanghai 101 Tower... but then, i dont think 5,120-way crossfirex is supported...
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