It seems that China has proved its dominance in the supercomputer arena, as they just revealed the world’s fastest supercomputer. As fluffy and light-hearted as this may seem, the reality of it all is pretty damn scary; we’re watching the west, the US is steadily declining in global intellectual affairs.
The fully operational Tianhe-1A, located at the National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin, scored 2.507 petaflops as measured by the LINPACK benchmark. That moves it past Cray’s 2.3 petaflops Jaguar located at Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee. Tianhe-1A achieved the record using 7,168 NVIDIA Tesla M2050 GPUs and 14,336 Intel Xeon CPUs consuming 4.04 megawatts. Knowing that 10 petaflops is within reach by 2012, we’ll see if Tianhe-1A can maintain its title when the new Top500 supercomputers list is released next week.
While this computer is no way near the speed of Chuck Norris’s roundhouse kick, this news falls along the lines of my original hypothesis that Japan is going to buy Canada. I still don’t think super computers are going to be a fad, imho it’s just a way for nations and science nerds to flaunt their e-peens around, still, if it’s an over-exuberant piece of technology, Apple will find a way to miniaturize it and market it to millions. At the rate things are going, the world is going to play out very much like Will Smith’s iRobot movie.
In either case, congratulations are in order for China; spying on your citizens just got a whole lot faster.