China is preparing to work on a supercomputer with a capacity of 100 petaflops by 2015 and try to produce the first exascale computer in 2020,” said Hu Qingfeng, deputy chief designer of Tianhe-1A, one of the world’s top 10 fastest supercomputers.
“We have kicked off the research of some core technologies and manpower cultivation for the plan,” Hu, a professor at the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT), told China Daily.
Exascale computing is an attempt by scientists to take computing beyond the current petascale. If achieved, it will represent a thousandfold increase on that scale.
The challenges in core techniques include the performance of central processing unit (CPU), interconnection network, programming, energy management and system fault tolerance, he said.
The next target for the Tianhe-1A team is to build a machine that can perform tens of petaflops per second, as well as developing new CPUs and graphics processing units (GPUs).
Although the supercomputer uses the 2048 FT-1000 CPUs developed by NUDT, it largely runs on the 14,336 CPUs made by Intel, the US chipmakers, and 7,186 GPUs from Nvidia, also based in the US.