|China has created a supercomputer that boasts more than double the speed of any system in the US. The supercomputer, Tianhe-2 can reach speeds of up to 54.9 petaflops. It has been built with Intel's chips, but also includes Chinese technology.|
According to HPCwire, the Tianhe-2, also known as the Milkyway-2 , is being developed in the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou as the successor to the Tianhe-1A (pictured below), which can drive its 14,336 Intel Xeon X5670 processors and 7,168 nVidia Tesla GPUs to a peak performance of 4.7 petaflops. Those specifications landed the TH-1 at the top of the list of the world’s fastest supercomputers back in 2009; and it currently sits at No. 8 worldwide.
|Tianhe 1 Supercomputer|
The Tianhe-2 (which has still not formally been unveiled) can reportedly deliver peak performance between 53 petaflops and 55 petaflops, with a LINPACK score for sustained performance of between 27 petaflops and 29 petaflops. Rumors about an almost-completed version began to leak out following a high-performance computing conference in China last month.
|Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory|
According to Dongarra, a Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Tennessee the Tianhe-2 runs a total of 3,120,000 processor cores divided among 16,000 nodes. Each node contains sockets for two Intel Ivy Bridge processors that serve as the CPU and three boards for co-processors, which are based on Intel’s Xeon Phi processor, the first commercial incarnation of Intel’s MIC (Many Integrated Core Architecture), which can deliver as much as a teraflop per chipset.
The Milkyway-2 system is configured with a total of 1.404 petabytes of memory and a parallel storage system with 12.4 petabytes of space. Much of its scalability and performance comes from a proprietary, Chinese-developed network called the TH-Express 2, and a frontend system using 4,096 Galaxy FT-1500 CPUs–16-core processors developed by NUDT based on the Sparc-V9 chip, Dongarra wrote.
Each FT-1500 delivers a total of 144 gigaflops/second, compared to 211 Gflops/s from the Ivy Bridge processors. At peak power consumption, the Tianhe-2 pulls 17.6 megawatts plus another 6.4 megawatts for a closed-coupled water-cooling system, for a total of 24 megawatts. The system runs a NUDT-designed Linux distribution called Kylin Linux, which also runs on the Tianhe-1A.
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