The world’s fastest computer that you think you know isn’t the fastest yet – because China is still wrapping up the first ‘exascale’ supercomputer.
It’s considered a super-supercomputer that is capable of performing 1 quintillion (a billion billion) calculations per second, the fastest yet if the whole thing works as it should. Well, the National Supercomputer Center hopes it would this year, earlier than previously predicted which was 2018.
The prototype of the exascale computer took a couple of years to build, and a few more to be developed as a fully functional model.
Zhang Ting from the National Supercomputer Center reveals how much power this computer could give. “A complete computing system of the exascale supercomputer and its applications can be expected in 2020, and will be 200 times more powerful than the country’s first petaflop computer Tianhe-1, recognised as the world’s fastest in 2010.”
Undoubtedly, China is the powerhouse of the world’s fastest computers after topping the supercomputer research group Top500’s biannual charts for the sixth time in a row.
Before this super-supercomputer is installed, the Tianhe-2 was developed after the Tianhe-1, which was named as the most powerful in the world in 2015.
That isn’t the fastest yet as of now: the country unveiled the Sunway TaihuLight, which is the fastest new computer peaking a performance of 124.5 petaflops – the first system to exceed 100 petaflops. It is capable of quadrillions of calculations each second, which is 1,000,000,000,000,000 calculations per second.
But that is nothing compared to the Tianhe-3, which is the name given to the new exascale computer, which is capable of performing at least 1 quintillion calculations (or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000) per second.
China isn’t the only one developing this kind of supercomputer. Its long-time frenemy United States also has an exascale computer underway, with a target model release 2023.
The Department of Energy defines the power of such computers in their website. “At 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 calculations per second, exascale supercomputers will be able to quickly analyse massive volumes of data and more realistically simulate the complex processes and relationships behind many of the fundamental forces of the Universe.”
In short, the Exascale Computing Project of the U.S. claims to revolutionize the computer industry, as if China is not yet doing it.
“[E]xascale supercomputers will more realistically simulate the processes involved in precision medicine, regional climate, additive manufacturing, the conversion of plants to biofuels, the relationship between energy and water use, the unseen physics in materials discovery and design, the fundamental forces of the Universe, and much more,” the government arm says further.
Source: Science Alert