back to article China prototypes pre-exascale super trio with its own non-US chips

Before any country can deploy an exascale system, they have to get pre-exascale prototypes into the field to test out their underlying technologies and determine what approaches have the best chance of scaling up performance and being manufactured affordably. It looks like China is looking at three different pre-exascale systems …

  1. Paul Smith

    Foot, Point, shoot.

    You have to wonder who is responsible for US foreign policy these days, and if they have ever had to do any planning beyond the next quarter.

    The US gov tells US companies that they can't sell their chips to China. Why? So China can't build a more powerful super-computer then the US. What did they think would happen next? Did they really hope that China would just kowtow and give up trying? Have they ever done that before? So China did exactly what China always does and learnt how to build the chips it needs itself. Now it no longer needs to buy any US made chips for its super-computers. And guess what? It longer needs to buy US made chips for its ordinary computers either. And because it will make so many, it can sell them to anybody else who wants them for less then the US companies can sell them. I wonder just how long the US chip industry has left? And more importantly, what act of incredible stupidity will the US try next to 'save' the US chip industry?

    Talk about short-sighted! Should have gone to spec-savers!

    1. Eddy Ito

      Re: Foot, Point, shoot.

      Don't worry, it's only a matter of time before they ban encryption. Can't have all those furriners plotting in secret now can we. Of course that just means that China's HPCs will be decrypting the best the NSA will have to offer in another year so it won't matter whether Hillary's email server is "secure" or not.

      Is everybody ready for the battle against Clipper Chip v2.0?

    2. Cuddles

      Re: Foot, Point, shoot.

      "So China did exactly what China always does and learnt how to build the chips it needs itself."

      Well, not really. Of the three supers mentioned in the article, one is ARM, one is AMD, and the other is Sunway which are supposedly based on DEC Alpha, although obviously there's not too much detail known about them. And of course, most non-Intel chips are already built in China or nearby countries anyway. So sure, banning export of Intel chips certainly didn't help the US in any way, but China are still almost exclusively using US and UK designed chips that are manufactured in the same factories as most other chips in the world. Intel got somewhat screwed, but the chip industry as a whole will hardly notice the difference.

      1. thames

        Re: Foot, Point, shoot.

        @Cuddles - "the other is Sunway which are supposedly based on DEC Alpha"

        The idea that the Shenwei SW26010 was based on the Alpha was only speculation on internet forums. According to the co-founder of the Top 500 list (the HPC list of the top 500 super computers), from the information that he's seen, it isn't. It's a unique design of its own.

        It is designed around very efficient and fast floating point performance, which is why it does so well in super-computing tasks. Whether it would make a good general purpose processor or be good for things such as web servers is something we don't know.

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