In DepthSupercomputers

China fosters competition in its race to exascale computing

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Science  26 Oct 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6413, pp. 384-385
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6413.384

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China is taking a unique approach in the global race to produce an exascale supercomputer, which would perform a quintillion floating point operations per second. The United States, Japan, and the European Union are all racing to reach this supercomputing milestone. But China had three competing teams develop prototypes that have been tested for speed, stability, and energy consumption and given trial runs of software from different application areas. The Ministry of Science and Technology is expected to select two of the prototypes for development into exascale systems within this year. The original target to bring the systems online was 2020, but the date is likely to slip. Exascale machines will be five times faster than the current fastest supercomputers and promise dramatic advances in climate and weather modeling, human genetics studies, drug development, artificial intelligence, and other scientific applications.