RFHPC203: A Look at China’s New Exascale Prototypes

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at China’s new ARM-based Exascale supercomputer prototype.

As reported in China Daily, scientists have put an exascale computing prototype into operation that does not run the x86 instruction set. The Sunway exascale computer prototype was developed by the National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering and Technology (NRCPC), the team that developed Sunway TaihuLight, crowned the world’s fastest computer two years in a row in 2016 and 2017.

The Sunway exascale computer prototype is very much like a concept car that can run on road,”said Yang Meihong, director of the National Supercomputing Center in Jinan. “We expect to build the exascale computer in the second half of 2020 or the first half of 2021,” said Yang.

Another prototype exascale supercomputer Tianhe-3 passed the acceptance tests on July 22. Its final version is expected to come out in 2020. The two prototypes marked a further step towards China’s successful development of the next-generation supercomputer.

After that, we do our Catch of the Week:

  • Rich points us to the story about Rigetti Computing’s pending 128-qubit quantum computer. The company has already built the 128-qubit processing chip, and is working to put all the pieces together to bring more power to researchers and developers. If successful, it could be the world’s most powerful quantum computer and it could have the chance to outpace traditional supercomputers. Meanwhile, you can already access IBMQ, D-Wave, and Chinese quantum machines in the cloud today.
  • Henry notes that one of the scary things to come out of the Black Hat conference is a new kind of microwave weapon for cooking your enemy from communication satellites.
  • Dan is wardriving in North Carolina in the town the Internet forgot.

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