China Leaves World in Its Cyber Dust
China has just become the proud parent of the world’s fastest supercomputer, the Tianhe-1A. Located at the National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin, the Tianhe-1A was built using 7,168 NVIDIA Tesla M2050 GPUs and 14,336 Intel Xeon CPUs consuming 4.04 megawatts. With this setup the system scored 2.507 petaflops, according to the LINPACK benchmark. More importantly, a 2.507 petaflop system built entirely with CPUs would consume more than 12 megawatts. Thanks to the use of GPUs in a heterogeneous computing environment, Tianhe-1A consumes only 4.04 megawatts, making it 3 times more power efficient. The difference in power consumption is enough to provide electricity to over 5000 homes for a year. The now former title holder was Cray’s 2.3 petaflops Jaguar, located at Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee, U.S.A.
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