Chinese supercomputer is the world's fastest — and without using US chips.
China now has a greater share of the world's fastest supercomputers than the US.
We just got through discussing about how Intel's Hardware Rootkit is used for providing remote access services to interested third parties that may want to have some say as to what you use your machine for...
From the article:
The Sunway TaihuLight takes the top spot from previous record-holder Tianhe-2 (also located in China), and more than triples the latter's speed. The new number one is capable of performing some 93 quadrillion calculations per second (otherwise known as petaflops) and is roughly five times more powerful than the speediest US system, which is now ranked third worldwide.
[...] The previous fastest supercomputer, China's Tianhe-2, was built using US-made Intel processors. There were plans to upgrade the Tianhe-2's performance last year, but in April 2015 the US government placed an export ban on all high-performance computing chips to China.
So, while we were backloading our stuff with backdoors, the Chinese are leapfrogging us, and leave the United States government shaking the hand of executives who outsourced our technical jobs. Hope it was a good hand shake.
I am already finding a lot of datasheets for very interesting chips I use for my Arduino stuff... things like very high precision ADC's and DAC's - available in native Chinese. Most of the time an English translation ( Google translator quality ) is available. I am getting used to the idea that the new high tech is apt to require an understanding of Chinese to read it.
This is gonna be interesting to see how this plays out when China develops weaponry surpassing that controlled by the USA.
China's New Supercomputer Uses a 260-Core Chip
HPCWire received a report about Sunway TaihuLight, the world's new #1 supercomputer system on the June 2016 TOP500 list, in advance, and has some details about its architecture. The system uses the native/homegrown SW26010 "manycore" processor instead of Intel's similar Xeon Phi chips. Each SW26010 has 260 cores divided into four groups, with 64 compute cores and a single "management core" in each group. The chip reaches about 3 teraflops of peak floating point performance, and can access
8 GB [CORRECTION: 32 GB] of DDR3 memory. There are 40,960 of these chips, for a total of 10,649,600 cores (10,485,760 compute cores). The system's efficiency is around 6.05 gigaflops per Watt, over three times more efficient than the Tianhe-2 supercomputer. Although the TOP500 and Green500 lists are due to merge, the Green500 list has not been published yet. As for what the system will be used for:
The system software includes Sunway Raise OS 2.0.5 based on Linux as the operating system. Dongarra's report also mentions basic compiler components, such as C/C++, and Fortran compilers, an automatic vectorization tool, and basic math libraries. Sunway OpenACC supports OpenACC 2.0.
The Chinese supercomputing leadership is targeting the new Sunway machine at four key areas: advanced manufacturing (CAE, CFD), earth system modeling and weather forecasting; life science, and big data analytics.
China has been called out in the past for putting hardware ahead of software development. China announced that is has (at least) three applications that are on the finalist list for the Gordon Bell Award, which will be announced at SC16. The accepted submissions include a fully-implicit nonhydrostatic dynamic solver for cloud-resolving atmospheric simulation; a highly effective global surface wave numerical simulation with ultra-high resolution; and a large scale phase-field simulation for coarsening dynamics based on Cahn-Hilliard equation with degenerated mobility. The report from Dongarra notes that all three applications have scaled to about 8 million cores, just under 80 percent of the total system.
The performance of the #500 system on the TOP500 list has risen from 206.3 to 285.9 teraflops. 94 systems now have an RMAX of over 1 petaflops, compared to 81 systems in November 2015.
Zhaoxin, a joint venture between Via Technologies and the Chinese government, this week for the first time displayed its upcoming x86-compatible CPU, the KaiXian KX-6000. The SoC features eight cores running at 3 GHz and increases performance over its predecessor by at least 50%.
The KaiXian KX-6000 is a successor to the KX-5000 CPU launched earlier this year. Both chips integrate eight-core x86-64 cores with 8 MB of L2 cache, a DirectX 11.1-capable iGPU with an up-to-date display controller, a dual-channel DDR4-3200 memory controller, contemporary I/O interfaces (PCIe, SATA, USB, etc), and so on. The key differences between the KaiXian KX-5000 and the KaiXian KX-6000 are frequencies and manufacturing technology: the former is produced using TSMC's 28 nm fabrication process and runs at up to 2 GHz, whereas the latter is made using TSMC's 16 nm technology and operates at up to 3 GHz. Zhaoxin claims that the Kaixian KX-6000 offers compute performance comparable to that of Intel's 7th Generation Core i5 processor, which is a quad-core non-Hyper-Threaded CPU. Obviously, performance claims like that have to be verified, yet a 50% performance bump over the direct predecessor already seems beefy enough.
Related: Russia Plans to Dump Some American CPUs for Homegrown Technology
Russian Homegrown Elbrus-4C CPU Released
U.S. Export Restrictions Lead to Chinese Homegrown Supercomputing Chips
Linux-Based, MIPS-Powered Russian All-in-One PC Launched
China Dominates TOP500 List, Leads With New 93 Petaflops Supercomputer
Chinese Company Produces Chips Closely Based on AMD's Zen Microarchitecture
The Shoubu supercomputer at RIKEN in Japan continues to lead the Green500 supercomputer efficiency list, but at a lower power efficiency than previously measured now that more processors have been added. Power consumption of Shoubu has tripled from 50.32 kW to 150 kW, and efficiency has declined from 7.03158 gigaflops per Watt to 6.67384 gigaflops per Watt. Say goodbye to that 7 GFLOPS/W milestone for a little while.
Another system at RIKEN, Satsuki, has taken the #2 spot, with 6.19522 GFLOPS/W. Both of these RIKEN supercomputers use Intel Xeon CPUs and PEZY-SCnp "manycore" accelerators. The world's fastest supercomputer, China's Sunway TaihuLight, takes the #3 spot at 6.0513 GFLOPS/W. That supercomputer solely uses a homegrown 260-core processor and consumes a total of 15.371 MW of power.
Despite little movement near the top of the list, there are many new entries this time around:
The Satsuki and TaihuLight supercomputers are the only new entries in the top 10. Overall, there are 157 new systems in the June 2016 edition of the Green500, representing nearly a third of the list. Aside from those systems mentioned, the remaining seven supercomputers in the top 10 use GPUs as accelerators paired with Xeon CPUs. The most energy-efficient systems continue to be dominated by heterogeneous systems like these. In the current list, 40 of the top 50 systems employ some sort of accelerator.
[...] China has 21 of the top 50 greenest supercomputers, while the US claims 8 such systems. Germany has 5 of the top 50 systems, with Japan and France each claiming 4 systems. Looking at the entire list, China has 168 systems, the US has 165, Japan has 29, Germany has 26, and France has 18.
The average energy efficiency in the current list is 1116.8 MFLOPS/Watt or a little over 1 GFLOPS/Watt. While Shoubu, the greenest supercomputer, is more than 6 times as efficient as the average, the goal of a 20 MW exaflop system would require an energy efficiency of 50 GFLOPS/Watt. Using the current trend line, the first 20 MW supercomputer capable of an exaflop would not appear until after 2022.
The TOP500 and Green500 lists have "merged", but the old site is being maintained.
Previously: Shoubu Supercomputer Tops Green500 List at Over 7 Gigaflops Per Watt
TOP500 Analysis Shows "Nothing Wrong with Moore's Law" and the November 2015 Green500 List
TOP500 and Green500 Lists to "Merge"
From Damien Zammit, we have this fun little tidbit:
Recent Intel x86 processors implement a secret, powerful control mechanism that runs on a separate chip that no one is allowed to audit or examine. When these are eventually compromised, they'll expose all affected systems to nearly un-killable, undetectable rootkit attacks. I've made it my mission to open up this system and make free, open replacements, before it's too late.
The Intel Management Engine (ME) is a subsystem composed of a special 32-bit ARC microprocessor that's physically located inside the chipset. It is an extra general purpose computer running a firmware blob that is sold as a management system for big enterprise deployments.
When you purchase your system with a mainboard and Intel x86 CPU, you are also buying this hardware add-on: an extra computer that controls the main CPU. This extra computer runs completely out-of-band with the main x86 CPU meaning that it can function totally independently even when your main CPU is in a low power state like S3 (suspend).
On some chipsets, the firmware running on the ME implements a system called Intel's Active Management Technology (AMT). This is entirely transparent to the operating system, which means that this extra computer can do its job regardless of which operating system is installed and running on the main CPU.
The purpose of AMT is to provide a way to manage computers remotely (this is similar to an older system called "Intelligent Platform Management Interface" or IPMI, but more powerful). To achieve this task, the ME is capable of accessing any memory region without the main x86 CPU knowing about the existence of these accesses. It also runs a TCP/IP server on your network interface and packets entering and leaving your machine on certain ports bypass any firewall running on your system.
Yeah, and I'm sure they pinky-swear never to allow the NSA access to any computer via it. I'll be using AMD from now on, slower or not, thanks.