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Chinese Super Breaks World Record in Application Performance

HPC Wire (06/09/11) Michael Feldman

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Process Engineering recently claimed to have run a molecular simulation code at 1.87 petaflops, which represents the highest floating point performance ever achieved by a real-world application code, on the graphics processing unit (GPU)-powered Tianhe-1A supercomputer.  The three-hour simulation modeled the behavior of 110 billion atoms, while the previous record-holder for molecular modeling was 49 billion atoms at 369 teraflops.  The Tianhe-1A’s accomplishment mirrors the larger significance of using GPU technology to drive science and engineering.  Last year NVIDIA Tesla general manager Andy Keane warned that the U.S.’s competitive edge could be endangered by its lagging adoption of GPU in high-performance computing.  Simulations such as the one Tianhe-1A facilitated support fundamental science research that is applicable to designing upgraded solar energy panels and semiconductor devices.


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