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China's Homemade Supercomputer May Be the Most Efficient Ever

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Dawning 6000 chassis

Dawning 6000 chassis with 10 Godson 3B-powered blade servers installed.

China's Institute of Computing Technology

China plans to launch a new homegrown supercomputer this summer. The Dawning 6000 will be the first machine in the Top500 powered entirely by chips designed by China's Institute of Computing Technology.

Weiwu Hu, lead architect of the Loongson chip line, says the machine will have a scale of 300 teraflops that will be reached with 3,000 of the 1 GHz, 8-core Godson 3B chips. The Dawning 6000 will not reach record-breaking performance levels, but its key metric will be performance per watt once it matures.

"[T]he Godson-3B appears to be a very power-efficient design, and the upcoming Dawning machine could rival even Blue Gene/Q systems for performance per watt supremacy," according to HPC Wire.

The supercomputer will achieve this efficiency due to the relatively low clock speed of the Godson 3B chip and its reliance on the MIPS architecture. The Godson 3C, which will have twice the clock speed and twice as many cores as the 3B, will be four times as fast. This chip will be available next year or 2013 and will be used to build a petascale computer.

From Technology Review
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