China has increasingly powerful supercomputers. But he keeps them secret

China has increasingly powerful supercomputers. But he keeps them secret

In the beginning it was 5G. Now there are supercomputers. As is well known, a fundamental chapter in the dispute between the United States and China is technology. According to many, the arrest in Canada of Meng Wanzhou, daughter of the owner of Huawei, in Canada was the real turning point in relations between Washington and Beijing. The moment in which the Communist Party understood, or at least convinced itself, that the White House would not have been enough to readjust the bilateral trade balance or raise some tariffs on Chinese products. No, with that arrest, China became convinced that the United States first wanted to stop its rise. Since that moment, the paradigm of relationships has changed and above all the interpretative key of every American move by Beijing.

A few years later, Chinese 5G has not spread to every corner of the world like the States United feared and indeed the tech expansion has suffered some setbacks, also thanks to the rectification campaign launched within the People's Republic. However, this does not mean that made in China innovation has stopped, quite the contrary. In the sectors deemed strategic to national interests, the proceeds are as fast and more than before. In addition to semiconductors, on which China is trying to make up for a heavy delay accumulated over the years, especially in relation to Taiwan and, secondarily, to South Korea, supercomputers also fall into the category of national interests.

Exascale, how Europe prepares for the new era of supercomputers They can perform calculations five times faster and are able to do a quintillion of operations per second. Creating a new world of uses and opportunities The pot of the Chinese alchemist: one billion operations per second The most advanced supercomputers are used to improve simulations of highly complex systems, for example to create better models of climate change or the effects of hypothetical nuclear explosions. But be warned: As the Financial Times warns, their covert use in classified areas, such as to bypass cryptography-based defense systems, will likely make them key tools in the homeland security industry as well.

Chinese scientists claim to have developed a new supercomputer so fast that it has successfully run an artificial intelligence model as sophisticated as a human brain. This achievement puts the latest generation Sunway supercomputer on par with Frontier, the latest machine built by the US Department of Energy, recently named the most powerful machine in the world. The Chinese team has renamed the artificial intelligence model developed by Sunway as called bagualu, meaning "alchemist's pot". It is equipped with 174 trillion parameters and thus for the first time is able to rival the number of synapses in the brain.

The potential uses of the new supercomputer range in a huge number of sectors, from vehicles autonomous to facial recognition, from computer vision to chemistry. As explained by the South China Morning Post, the latest Sunway has a speed of one billion operations per second, four times more than Frontier and is equipped with 96,000 semi-independent computer systems: the nodes, which communicate with each other at over 23 petabytes per second.

5G and supercomputers, Europe accelerates on investments China has very powerful supercomputers: but it no longer communicates it to the world A clear step forward compared to its Chinese predecessor, the TaihuLight which had been in first place in the top 500 of global supercomputers between 2016 and 2018. China already had the largest number of supercomputers in the Top 500 list of the world's most powerful computers than any other country: 173 versus the 123 in the United States. Virtually one in three. But in recent years, Chinese researchers have not provided data on the performance of the new machines. Some experts suspect that the Chinese authorities want to hide crucial information to avoid receiving unilateral sanctions from the United States. Washington has also blacklisted at least 12 Chinese entities associated with supercomputing, including the manufacturer Sugon based in Beijing and the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, ie the developer of the Sunway TaihuLight.

Not the officially advertises, but Beijing's scientific achievements continue at a great pace. China has not officially disclosed that it has three exascale systems. But their existence was confirmed at the end of 2021. They are much more powerful supercomputers than previous models. According to some rumors, the Chinese government has the goal of owning 10 exascale supercomputers by 2025. Also because for their manufacture they do not need the most technologically innovative microchips: according to The Next Platform, those at 14 nanometers are sufficient, which Chinese companies they are able to manufacture and assemble as opposed to the smaller ones manufactured by the Taiwanese giants.

The challenge on supercomputers also involves defense and national security. These machines are in fact often used for military purposes and contribute to the modernization and development of armies. A particularly delicate issue in reference to China, given the traditional strong mix between the military and civil sectors. Just as Beijing decrypts any Washington move as anti-Chinese, Washington sees Beijing's technological development as a potential threat.

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