China supercomputer fact of the day

by on June 25, 2017 at 3:18 am in Science, Web/Tech | Permalink

A new ranking shows that for the second year running, the world’s fastest supercomputer is TaihuLight, housed at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, China. Capable of performing 93 quadrillion calculations per second, it’s almost three times faster than the second-place Tianhe-2. And in third spot this year is a newly upgraded device, called Piz Dain, at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre, which recently had its performance boosted by the addition of Nvidia GPUs.

Sadly for America, the upgraded Piz Dain pushes the Department of Energy’s Titan supercomputer, which is housed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, into fourth spot. Able to make 17.6 quadrillion number crunches per second, Titan is just a fifth as fast as TaihuLight. In its defense, the U.S. still claims five of the top 10 spots, and it is home to 169 of the supercomputers that make up the fastest 500. China, meanwhile, can only claim 160.

Here is the full article.

1 Todd Kreider June 25, 2017 at 3:43 am

It’s odd that an “America is losing the race” fluff article is printed in 2017, especially in Technology Review.

2 msgkings June 25, 2017 at 1:12 pm

Why is that odd?

3 Thiago Ribeiro June 25, 2017 at 2:17 pm

Because America has been made great again, I guess.

4 Todd Kreider June 25, 2017 at 3:10 pm

Other comments posts give a couple of reasons why but the differences are so close companies leapfrog each other often but someone arbitrarily takes a snapshot of small differences every six months and posts a top 500.

5 M. Temer June 25, 2017 at 5:14 am

Waiting for Thiago’s post about Brazil’s supercomputer, who probably doesn’t exist yet (or maybe never), but which is better than the Chinese ones…

6 Thiago Ribeiro June 25, 2017 at 5:32 am

It is not funny. Cut it out.

7 Thiago Ribeiro June 25, 2017 at 5:54 am

Coconut-based technologies have been Brazil’s leading sector for decades. Our Coconut phone with a string connecting the two halves is the most robust communication technology in the world today. It allowed Brazil to defeat the Paraguian aggressor through superior logistics and organisation.

8 Thiago Ribeiro June 25, 2017 at 6:15 am

It is sad to see the 50 Cent Party’s minions attacking Brazil. I guess they are emboldened by America’s fawning over their totalitarian regime.

9 Thiago Ribeiro June 25, 2017 at 7:43 am

The crime is Brazil is so bad I have had my coconut phone stolen 3 times this month!

10 Thiago Ribeiro June 25, 2017 at 8:02 am

You are pathetic.

11 Art Deco June 25, 2017 at 8:04 am

Why do you keep arguing with yourself my fellow cuck?

12 Thiago Ribeiro June 25, 2017 at 8:06 am

You are right, the Argentines continue to cuck the “men” of Brazil!

13 Thiago Ribeiro June 25, 2017 at 5:45 am
Although Brazil is now engaged in a deep, comprehensive process of political and economic rwdorm – with great consequences both for Brazil and for the rest of mankind, Brazil is planning to dramatically speed up its scientific endeavours. Computer science, space travel and energy are among the sectors to be favored. Unlike Red China’s, Brazil’s computer policy is not an attempt by insecure and guilty-ridden tyrannical parvenus to get prestige and impress naïve foreigners, quite the opposite: it is an organical part of Brazil’s striving for the betterment of the world.

14 Thiago Riberio June 25, 2017 at 5:48 am

Brazil will finish it’s R&D program to develop a transistor radio by 2045.

15 Thiago Ribeiro June 25, 2017 at 6:01 am

Brazil INVENTED radio transmission.

16 M. Temer June 25, 2017 at 11:44 am

I am quite disappointed, so basically what you are saying is that China is decades ahead of Brazil. Sad!

17 Thiago Ribeiro June 25, 2017 at 12:10 pm

Brazil is making real investments in real scientific advances to help real people, not in expensive toys to impress naïve foreigners, greedy speculators and dazzle ignorant peasants. Brazil is investing in much needed equipament. Brazil’s Petrobras, one of the most important oil companies of the whole world owns a supercomputer because Petrobras is the world’s leading company at deep sea prospection. Brazil’s space research institute owns a supercomputer because Brazil plans great steps ahead at the Space Race. We are not using Potemkin computers to assuage inferiority feelings.

18 Christiano Ronaldo June 25, 2017 at 1:14 pm

How will Brazil help real people when their technology is so primitive and so far behind China and the United States?

19 Thiago Ribeiro June 25, 2017 at 2:16 pm

Brazi is not far behind China and United States, Brazil has nuclear plants, particle accelerators and a space program. Brazil discovered the pion and invented the radio and airplanes. Brazil uses computer for useful endeavours such as studying the weather and finding oil. Brazilian supercomputers are not tiys for the merriment of savage tyrants.

20 Christiano Ronaldo June 25, 2017 at 2:20 pm

But Brazil is very far behind China and the United States.

And since you will surely be posting “No, they are not”, let me just put this here now: “Yes, they are.”

21 Derek Jones June 25, 2017 at 2:28 pm

A Brazilian invented the Lua programming language, but only because of a trade embargo:

As reasons for inventing programming languages go, it’s not that unusual.

22 Thiago Ribeiro June 25, 2017 at 3:03 pm

“But Brazil is very far behind China and the United States.”
No, it is not. Brazil is one of the leading scientific powers with lots of great comtributions ro Physics, Agronomy, Medicine, Chemistry and Math among so many other scientific areas.

“A Brazilian invented the Lua programming language, but only because of a trade embargo:”
Although the market reserve scheme had some big problems, I would say it also created a critical mass of highly competent computer professioanla who were the base for all the subsequent Brazilian computer successes. Also, it is good to remember Brazil wanted to buy American supercomputer, but Bush I did what he could to prevent it from happening, accusing Brazil of plotting with Iraq and trying to create a Bomb (Brazil actually unilaterally abandoned its nucler program in 1990 – one of the few countries to ever do it).

23 BC June 25, 2017 at 6:16 am

Is supercomputing a public good? I understand that research projects that require supercomputing might be public goods, but one could publicly fund those research projects that in turn use the funds to rent time on privately-provided supercomputers. Are supercomputers not both excludable and rivalrous?

24 Ricardo Cruz June 25, 2017 at 10:24 am

The public good is the sheeple being able to say “my country has xxx supercomputers!” or “my country is ranked #1”.

25 8 June 26, 2017 at 3:51 pm

The world is vastly under appreciating our ability to make the Chinese provide massive public goods and welfare subsidies by making a list or giving out a medal for it.

26 byomtov June 25, 2017 at 12:13 pm

I understand that research projects that require supercomputing might be public goods, but one could publicly fund those research projects that in turn use the funds to rent time on privately-provided supercomputers.

One could, but so what? Why do you think that having a private super-computer monopolist would be a good idea?

27 Anonymous June 25, 2017 at 6:20 am

One (1) pod consisting of 64 Google TPU v2 units packs 11 quadrillion flops. Google offers 1000 of these TPU v2 units to researchers as a cloud service. TPU is specialized for a particular type of compute tasks (matrix multiply-and-accumulate) but this type is fairly generic.

28 Al June 25, 2017 at 1:06 pm

I did not know that this had been made public…

29 Amigo June 25, 2017 at 6:41 am

But will it run Witcher 3 at 4k?

30 DF June 25, 2017 at 8:08 am

There is surprisingly few simulations that can be run effectively on a given supercomputer. They are like Lamborghinis of the computing world. Cloud is like the Honda of computing, and the US dominates there.

31 Just Another MR Commentor June 25, 2017 at 8:10 am

Yeah Tyler doesn’t know anything about technology, he just likes to look for “facts” that support his narrative. This is along the lines of those rankings of where the tallest skyscrapers are.

32 DF June 25, 2017 at 8:21 am

I am reading it as, US discretionary spending on R&D is falling behind because supercomputing primarily serves the public sector, but I’d like to emphasize that the private sector has more than compensated.

33 Evans_KY June 25, 2017 at 8:57 am
34 msgkings June 25, 2017 at 1:16 pm

Who is “we” and what does “toast” mean here?

35 Thiago Ribeiro June 25, 2017 at 2:07 pm

“We” is the United States and “toast” is having its lunch stolen and its might broken after the Chinese hordes master quantium entanglement.

36 msgkings June 25, 2017 at 2:09 pm

What does “lunch stolen” and “might broken” mean, specifically?

37 Thiago Ribeiro June 25, 2017 at 2:52 pm

That Red China will have the means to defeat the United States economically and beat it back militarily. Americans are paying for the rope they will be hanged with.

38 msgkings June 25, 2017 at 7:58 pm

What does “defeat economically” and “beat it back militarily” mean? Not trolling, how does one nation “defeat” another economically? And the US isn’t attacking China so what beating back is needed?

39 Thiago Ribeiro June 25, 2017 at 8:18 pm

America will be surpassed by Red China, that will be able to use its economic and technology power to mobilize military might that will dwarf America’s. America’s domination of Asia, the only thing preventing China from having now the The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere they dream about, will be a thing of past. Deprived of its semicolonies, America will be of no consequence anymore, a fallen empire. Americans will have funded their own destruction.

40 msgkings June 25, 2017 at 8:24 pm

Got it, serves me right for expecting anything more than a jumble of words with no coherent meaning or relation to reality. Obrigado!

41 msgkings June 25, 2017 at 8:26 pm

Also, are semicolonies places where periods and commas are combined to make a new punctuation mark?

42 Thiago Ribeiro June 26, 2017 at 4:53 am

Semicolonies are states legally independent, but de facto enslaved by strongest countries.

43 msgkings June 26, 2017 at 12:48 pm

Can you elaborate on what “enslaved” means? Maybe pick a semicolony of the US and then tell me what makes them slaves?

44 Thiago Ribeiro June 26, 2017 at 1:58 pm

Mexico and Argentina adopted the program of radical economic liberalization Larry Summers ordered them to follow, Mexico suffered a dramatic crisis that destroyed the apparently eternal PRI rule, Argentina had to default. Japan lives under American occupation, frequentlynAmerican soldiers assault civilians and rape girls. During the Cold War, the American regime overthrew legal governents in Guatemala, Dominican Republica and other nations. It supported the Argentinian and the Chilean juntas.

45 msgkings June 26, 2017 at 2:03 pm

Thanks, Thiago. This answer was about what I expected from you.

46 Thiago Ribeiro June 26, 2017 at 2:25 pm

You are welcome. I hope you, China-appeasers, wake up before it is too late.

47 msgkings June 26, 2017 at 2:47 pm

And thank you for the wake up call for us China-appeasers.

48 Thiago Ribeiro June 26, 2017 at 3:32 pm

“I wonder if they have ever asked themselves that if they should have the kind of government they apparently seek, no one would ever be able to do what they’re doing again.” – Ronad Reagan about Soviet-appeasing demonstrators in Berlin, then West Germany’s capital.

49 Daniel Weber June 25, 2017 at 9:04 pm

There is this constant drumbeat that if the US doesn’t spend godzooky amounts of money on every possible tech, then some other country is going to discover something first that ends up being The One True Tech that they’ll own which destroys us.

Most of it comes from people whose understanding of economics, investment, and science comes from Civilization.

50 chuck martel June 26, 2017 at 8:22 am

Americans should be more worried about the competition with Norway over the number of reindeer. The fact that Norway has for many years led the US in reindeer live births is something that should disturb everyone.

51 JWatts June 26, 2017 at 11:55 am

And don’t forget the Marsupial gap with the antipodes!

52 Anonymous June 25, 2017 at 10:46 am

“Fastest” can be boring, when it is just done by buying more Intel, AMD, or Nvidia chips.

The interesting thing about this is that they did it with a Chinese CPU.

It is a loss in chip supremacy. Though possibly we are “over” raw flops for the cloud, and working on flops/watt these days.

53 dearieme June 25, 2017 at 11:05 am

Should one really combine “China” and “fact” in the same headline?

54 Cock Piss Partridge June 25, 2017 at 12:31 pm

Almost as ridiculous as saying that dearieme is not a cuck!

55 Thor June 25, 2017 at 8:19 pm

In what argument did Dearime best you, such that you are compelled to repeatedly display your frustration?

56 June 25, 2017 at 11:35 pm

The crucial difference is that the US supercomputer is located where it is most needed but the Chinese one does not.

“””But Ye’s paper revealed that top priority weapons research did not always get access to the best supercomputers. Some mainland computer scientists said that machines such as the Tianhe-2 were not created to meet specific needs, but to win a place on the top500 list. They were “face projects”. “””

As such it might appear that the Chinese strategy is not on arm race and hard confrontation but using methods similar to that of US’s SDI strategy which had driven USSR into the ground economically. China seems to be able to do things cheaper and faster. The seperation of top supercomputing from the millitary might be deliberate so as not to be threatening.

57 Thiago Ribeiro June 26, 2017 at 7:04 am

As I said, Potemkin computers.

58 June 26, 2017 at 10:42 pm

It is the real mccoy as the performance was evaluated internationally. It is currently used in wind power modelling does not mean that it cannot be switched to hypersonic vehicle modelling when the need arise.

Look at the student supercomputing olympiad. There was a team from Colombia. Where is the Brazilian team? And the scores, Two of the competition areas have immediate commercial applications, DNA sequencing and drug synthesis.

59 Thiago Ribeiro June 27, 2017 at 4:49 am

Brazil was much busy, achieving better Mathematical Olympiad results than many richer countries.

60 June 26, 2017 at 12:43 am

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