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City Reformist
5,263 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is the news I am waiting for. I know the chinese are good with number and in fact has invented abacus. So, it is just logical that chinese should be good at building computer and super computer. Now these news about super computer confirm what I believe. Even though there are few years to catch up with the US, I think China will be able to be at least at the same level with the US in creating a super fast super computer. Turns out the news is even better, china seems able to put its own brain chip! I'd like to find out how is the development of super fast network in China using fiber optic?


China builds one of world's fastest supercomputer

Updated: 2008-06-25 19:56

Although missing the world's most extensive rankings for the best supercomputers, a Chinese-made high performance server rivals the 7th fastest for computing speed.

Dawning 5000A, with a capability of 160 trillions of computing operations per second, is signed to be installed in the Shanghai Supercomputer Center (SSC) which specializes in super computing outsourcing services for daunting jobs such as genome mapping, quake appraisal, precise weather forecast, mining survey and huge stock exchange data.

Nie Hua, vice president of Dawning Information Industry Co., said here Wednesday in an interview with Xinhua, "The delay in the delivery of AMD Barcelona quad-cores chips made us miss the latest rankings."

The International Supercomputing Conference released last week in Dresden, Germany, the latest competition results of the world's most powerful supercomputers, or TOP500.

The world's No. 1 system, "Roadrunner" which was built by IBM for the US Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), was so revolutionary that it exceeded the milestone of running one quadrillion computing operations a second, 5.4 times faster than that of Dawning 5000A.

While IBM "Roadrunner" was built for unspecified military applications, the Chinese fastest super system, covering a floor space of 75 square meters, focuses on commercial use. The vendor Dawning showcased its eye-catching performance of processing 36-hour weather forecast information on Beijing and vicinity within three minutes.

IBM occupied five slots of the top ten supercomputers. When comparing performance, Dawning 5000A followed the No. 6 IBM BlueGene/P system which has been installed in Germany at the Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ).

The scheduled completion of Dawning 5000A installation in the SSC in November might enable the system to compete the next world rankings in November.

Whether Dawning 5000A is able to remain among the top ten is questionable because of the swift development of the supercomputing industry. The FZJ IBM BlueGene/P, which computes 167.3 trillion times one second, was ranked the second in last November.

With an innovative energy-saving design, Dawning 5000A consumes 700 kilowatts per hour, beating most in TOP500 in average power efficiency except the well-known energy-efficient IBM BlueGene series.

The TOP500 list showed that 75 percent of the central processing units (CPUs) equipped in all the systems were from Intel while Dawning 5000A employed 6,600 AMD Barcelona quad-cores processors.

Previous industry analysis predicted Dawning might for the first time use the home-grown Godson chips in super servers, which breaks the hold of Intel and AMD in the high-end server CPU market. Godson chips were developed by a research team at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Institute of Computing Technology (ICT), which also holds the Dawning Company.

Nie explained why Godson chips were not used: "Our client (the SSC) required the major functions of the system should be accomplished in Microsoft Windows operating system whereas Godson chips primarily run the competing Linux operating system."

"We do develop the Godson-driven prototype servers, but we have to satisfy our clients first," said Nie, who also hinted that manufacturing capability and actual roll-outs of Godson chips were not what he expected.

Nie, nevertheless, did not rule out the possibility of using Godson chips in the Dawning 5000 series in the future, saying its next supercomputer, currently coded as Dawning 5000L which will be installed by 2010 and have a similar computing performance to IBM "Roadrunner," is likely to be equipped with Godson CPUs.

As with many Chinese manufacturing products, Dawning supercomputers enjoy big cost advantages.

Even with expensive imported AMD chips, Dawning 5000A costs only 200 million yuan (29 million US dollars), significantly lower than what the US Department of Energy spent on IBM "Roadrunner," 100 million US dollars.

Use of Chinese-made chips will further cut the cost for supercomputers, said Dr. Sun Ninghui, chief architect of the Dawning series.

Dawning is not a stranger to TOP500. A Dawning 4000A was ranked the tenth fastest in the world in June 2004.

Chinese computing scientists built in 1995 the country's first supercomputer, which only reached the major technical standards of what US companies produced eight years before. China is now getting closer to the US and is second in Asia, as Japan is losing ground.

The only system installed in Asia to secure a berth in the latest top ten is funded by India's TATA group in a lab in Pune, India. But the vendor of the eighth-ranked EKA system, Hewlett-Packard, is from the US

City Reformist
5,263 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
^Right. I take it from there since I just let that sticky thread free of discussion but to be a gathering of science and technology news only. I heard about Japan and South Korea has deployed fiber optic so they have very fast internet or online connection. I am not sure if China has deployed fiber optic?

Here is another link about Godson chip:

EDIT: Sorry I just Google FTTH and China and turns out China has deployed FTTH. There are mainland chinese company for FTTH. And here is an article from a blog:

"7/19/2007,According to the newest ranking report by FTTH council, Hongkong, a speical zone of China, leads the world in FTTH field by a 21.2% FTTH access rate. Even mainland China has a FTTH access rate more than 1%. Taiwan, a waiting-for-united province of China, also has an access rate more than 1%.

I am so supprised to see these data. Although I know Hongkong is so successful on their IPTV development, but I know most IPTV users in Hongkong are based on DSL technology, not FTTH.
For mainland China, consider the so big population, even 1% will be an amazing number. Mainland China has nearly 300 million homes, 1% will be 3 million homes. As I know, even 30K real FTTH homes in mainland China doesn't exist. FTTH council is holding a conference in Beijing now, the number maybe is just used to make those MITT officers happy for a day."
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