China breaks ground on futuristic supercomputer complex
China will be using its supercomputing capability for scientific research such as climate models, but also for military purposes
Computerworld - China has unveiled a sleek, ultramodern-appearing design for its new supercomputing center, apparently rejecting the windowless, boxy design of typical data center complexes in favor of an architectural style -- including a saucer-shaped building -- that may reflect the country's broader supercomputing ambitions.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the new National Supercomputing Center was held on Sunday. The facility, to be located in Changsha, in China's central Hunan province, will house the Tianhe-1A, which was ranked last month as the world's fastest supercomputer, at 2.5 petaflops.
Tad Davies, executive vice president of the Bick Group, a company whose work includes data center design, looked at the rendering and said it doesn't offer much in the way of specifics. Renderings are produced to "create impressions" rather than to reflect realities, he said.
Although Davies isn't sure which of the two buildings will house the supercomputer, the elevated round building would have to be constructed to handle the data center's significant weight loads. Also, round buildings are not space-efficient.
The round roof could be used to collect water. But the underground level visible in the image "would be an ideal location" for the computer, he said. The rectangular building is set to house labs, classrooms and offices, Davies suspects.
China has launched an aggressive supercomputing development schedule, according to slides from a presentation made by an official at the Supercomputing Center of Chinese Academy of Sciences at an exascale computing conference in October.
From 2011-2015, China wants to build at least one system capable of 50 to 100 petaflops. The U.S. plans to launch at least two 20-petaflop systems in 2012, one at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the other at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
China has set a target of 2016 to 2020 for its first exascale system (an exaflop is thousands of times faster than a petaflop). The U.S. has approved funding for initial steps in exascale funding but has not set aside funds for vendors to begin working with scientists on systems development.
China, like other countries, will be using its supercomputing capability for scientific research, such as sandstorm prediction and climate models, but also for military uses.
One slide that was part of the Chinese academy presentation that showed a jet plane and a military ship said that the system is being used for "stealth design of airplanes" and RCS, which may be an acronym for Radar Countermeasures System.
China's increasing aerospace capabilities and its development of stealth aircraft was the subject of a hearing earlier this year by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, where Wayne Ulman, the China issue manager at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, said in testimony that the Chinese military "is working on a very comprehensive approach to information superiority."
- In exascale, Japan stands apart with firm delivery plan
- Here comes a supercomputing app store
- An HPC champion helps Trek Bicycle shift gears
- D-Wave pitches quantum co-acceleration to supercomputing set
- Why the U.S. may lose the race to exascale
- Top500 shows growing inequality in supercomputing power
- Supercomputing's big problem: What's after silicon?
- Cray brings Hadoop to supercomputing
- Intel rushes to exascale with redesigned Knights Landing chip
- China still has the fastest supercomputer in the world
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Case Study: Murphy USA Gains Application Visibility Without Agents Murphy USA has more than 700 stores that share a 10Mbps VSAT link. So when something goes wrong with their applications, it's the...
- Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready? Read "Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready?" now, and discover best practices and actionable steps to implementing a production-ready big data solution.
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All High Performance Computing White Papers | Webcasts