China is already in the lead when it comes to supercomputers, as the country possesses 167 of the 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world. It also has the most powerful, Sunway TaihuLight, which has a processing speed of 93 petaflops – the peta prefix means quadrillion, meaning this super machine is capable of 93 quadrillion calculations per second.
And now it seems that China will also be the first to develop a prototype for an exascale computer. Their aim is to have it completed by the end of 2017, although the finished, fully operational computer will only be ready a few years from now.
What is an Exascale Computer?
Exascale computing is a term used for systems capable of at least one quintillion operations per second; the sheer magnitude of this ability is emphasised when you actually write the number down: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000.
An exascale system would be capable of analysing and processing massive volumes of information. Apart from quantum systems, exascale machines are the next step in computing, and their creation and implementation will be a big achievement in both computer engineering and human ingenuity.
It’s unsurprising, then, that China is moving quickly to complete the project.
China’s Exascale Computer
China is not the only nation interested in building a system such as this, as both Japan and the US, for example, share the same passion. The US Department of Energy plans on having on operational by 2023, a milestone for the country.
Still, China is likely to win the race. Even though the exascale computer will probably only be fully functional by 2020, this timescale is still ahead of everyone else. This system will be used for a wide variety of tasks, such as national defence, more powerful simulations, and even more advanced encryptions and decryptions.
In an interview with news agency Xinhua, Zhang Ting, an application engineer with the National Supercomputer Centre, said that the exascale machine “will be 200 times more powerful than the country’s first petaflop computer, Tianhe-1, recognised as the world’s fastest in 2010.”
Zhang also said that by using the exascale computer for cloud and big data applications, the nation could take the lead in many innovative and high-tech programs. China already has the first and second fastest computers in the world and appears to continue its high-tech journey with no signs of stopping.
Your computer network might not be at the exascale just yet, but at Q2Q we aim to help you make the most out of it nonetheless! Contact us today to ensure that you’re adapting to a growing technological workspace – and let us help you take your IT infrastructure to the next level.