China is planning to use 100,000 Intel Ivy Bridge-based Xeon E5 processors to power its next supercomputer, rumored to be the world's fastest.
It's a startling switch from previous statements favor the establishment of a high-end hardware industry independent of any foreign technology providers, and perhaps an indication that China's advanced technology sector isn't quite able to meet the challenges posed by next-generation, top-end computer designs.
Considering the fact that Intel's Xeon E5 processors run a cool $2,500 each and 100,000 are going into the new supercomputer, well, you do the math.
As for the result, it's expected the upcoming calculating colossus will surpass the 2.5 petaflops of data-crunching power embodied in the current world's fastest computer, the Chinese National University of Defense Technology's “Tianhe-1A” (Milky Way/Sky River), shown above. This beast runs on 21,522 Intel and Nvidia chips.
It was only recently (March of 2011 to be exact) that the chief designer of China's top-end “Loongson” chips told the People's Daily “Our information industry was using foreign technology.” Hu Weiwu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences went on to say, “however, just like a country's industry cannot always depend on foreign steel and oil, China's information industry needs its own CPU.”
Evidently the Loongson chips aren't yet part of a homegrown solution to China's supercomputing needs, and Intel stands to be the main beneficiary. Then again, since China's supercomputers seem to be mainly employed by the country's military maybe we shouldn't feel so smug. (via M.I.C Gadget and ZOL)