China’s New Self-Made Technology, America Got Shocked.
This week, China’s Sunway TaihuLight officially became the fastest supercomputer in the world. The previous champ? Also from China. What used to be an arms race for super computing primacy among technological nations has turned into a blowout.
The Sunway TaihuLight is indeed a monster: theoretical peak performance of 125 petaflops, 10,649,600 cores, and 1.31 petabytes of primary memory. That’s not just “big.” Former Indiana Pacers center Rik Smits is big. This is, like, mountain big. Jupiter big.
TaihuLight’s abilities are matched only by the ambition that drove its creation. Fifteen years ago, China claimed zero of the top 500 supercomputers in the world. Today, it not only has more than everyone else—including the United States—but its best machine boasts speeds five times faster than the best the US can muster. And, in a first, it achieves those speeds with purely China-made chips.
Think of TaihuLight, then, not in terms of power but of significance. It’s loaded with it, not only for what it can do, but how it does it.