These supercomputers are amazing. I remember seeing the Cray computer when I was a kid at on open house at national lab; i tried to sit on it. My parents had to pull me away. Now it's in the Computer History Museum. Funny, it looks small compared with these computers.
It's funny how I grew up as room sized computers were becoming ever smaller. The computers of the "past" could fill a warehouse and used power in kilowatts. Of course, we all now carry more computing power in our pockets than that 1960's warehouse held. ...and our vacuum tubes don't keep burning out.
Supercomputers are gettiung bigger and bigger, because they are now all parallel processors with the softwarse algorithms and the interconnedtion topology more imortant than the clock rate of the CPUs.
I wonder what power and space requirements are there for these kind of supercomputers then i found on wiki that total power consumption is 24MW and space required is 720sq meter, just to put things into prespective.
This once again raises an ugly and critical question that needs to be pushed with US Congressional, DOD, and NSA personnel. The United States has pretty severe export controls on a lot of hardware that is considered critical to naional security. The basis for those restrictions seems more and more fictional as more and more chips are and hardware is being manufactured in China. Now with China having a faster supercomputer than exists in the US (that is admited to), it seems odd that, at least for China, we still have much in the way of processor restrictions in place. There is a lot more processing power in localized installations in China that most people understand as well, with Bit Miners being a very obvious example.
So why does the US hog-tie its technically advanced hardware and prevent shipment overseas when it is very clear this can not prevent the spread of such technology? Perhaps a better approach would be to expend more resources improving our technology at a faster pace instead, and to be MUCH more selective where overseas sales of technologies are only restricted when they are VERY CRITICAL BUT NOT AVAILABLE outside the US.
@RWatkins I agree with your points... the export restrictions most often hurts US companies than helping them. And it also encourages more innovation in other countries though that was not the intention behind such trade restrictions to begin with! A classic double whammy in my opinion!!
Power is indeed a big issue and things cannot scale up as it is. ARM-based server chips will help push the limit but we will probably need a brand new computing technology to replace semiconductors altogether.
@RWatkins, you have a point. But note that the restrictions are with those chips China cannot manufacture and technologically lags behind in decades, like military-grade chips and cosmic-ray hardened chips.
Chips used in these Tianhe systems are most likely the common civilian-grade chips.
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.