Home-grown Chinese Supercomputer is now the world’s fastest

It’s called the Sunway TaihuLight. And it’s just been declared the fastest supercomputer in the world. It is a 40,960-node system powered entirely by Chinese processors (the 260-core ShenWei 26010) and is almost three times more powerful than the previous behemoth, the 33.85-petaflop Tianhe-2.

The new system uses a custom interconnect format to link its nodes, with a custom Linux variant that serves as the foundation for its software. This new top contender is capable of performing close to 93 quadrillion calculations per second.

The biggest highlight, however, is that the machine was built using Chinese home-grown semiconductors. Such systems are used for a multitude of tasks, from climate forecasts to product designs. They can also be useful for more high-stakes research, including cybersecurity and nuclear weaponry. According to its creators, however, the Sunway TaihuLight will be used in the fields of manufacturing, life science and earth system modelling.