In 2015, the U.S. State Department blocked the further sales of Intel Xeon and Xeon Phi processors to Chinese institutions, most notably the Tianhe-2 supercomputer. The U.S. Administration also blocked the move in which a China-based investment fund would invest in AMD.
Tianhe 2 has been the world’s fastest superconmputer since early 2013. Tianhe-2 has 32,000 Intel Xeon E5-2692 v2 processors, and 48,000 Intel Xeon Phi 31S1P co-processors. Tianhe-2 delivers a peak performance of 54.9 PFLOPS [petaFLOPS], and a sustained performance of 33.86 PFLOPS. What is little known is that Tianhe-2 is not a fully built supercomputer. In fact, Tianhe operated at a 50% capacity, as the original target for the system was 100 PFLOPS peak and 80 PFLOPS sustained.
According to VRWorld sources, China did not react in a way the current administration expected. China invested all the funds intended for Intel and other foreign vendors – into the development of in-house Alpha and ARM superprocessors, which have the potential to beat the traditional x86 architecture. In terms of funds, NUDT planned to buy 32,000 more Xeon processors (this time, based on Haswell-E) and 48,000 more Xeon Phi co-processors. Over $500 million was invested in bringing the Chinese silicon from a prototype phase to production-grade level.
At the 2016 Supercomputing Frontiers conference in Singapore, VRWorld learned the first details of the fully developed Tianhe-2 supercomputer, scheduled to debut in June 2016 during the 2016 International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt, Germany. This system is expected to deliver over 100 PFLOPS peak performance, and keep the crown of the world’s fastest (super)computer.
A new 64-core design will enable the system to reach its original performance targets. With the three million new ARM cores inside the Tianhe-2, its estimated Rpeak performance in the Linpack benchmark should exceed 100 PFLOPS.
When Tianhe-2 reach its full deployment of 32,000 Xeons, 32,000 ShenWei processor, and 96,000 Phytium accelerator cards, it could reach a range of 200-300 PFLOPS – if the building can withstand the thermal and power challenges associated with it.
Phytium Technology delivered motherboards with multiple processors and up to 256 GB per Mars processor.
Jiāngnán Computing Lab successfully developed a new multi-core Alpha processor. Considered a sixth generation design, ShenWei Alpha processors achieve more than 1 TFLOPS of compute performance.