Asia's top supercomp to go commercial in 2010

Tianhe-1, currently Asia's fastest supercomputer and No. 5 globally, will initiate commercial services in January and be fully operational in second half of next year.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

Asia's fastest supercomputer was partly installed last week in Tianjin, China and will be undergoing final tests before commencing operations in January 2010, according to a Chinese media report.

A Monday report on the Web site of the People's Daily, a publication sanctioned by the Communist Party of China, said Tianhe-1, based in the National SuperComputer Center in Tianjin, is expected to be fully operational in the second half of 2010.

Named after the Milky Way, Tianhe-1 was No. 5 in the latest iteration of the Top500 list of supercomputers released last month. It was also ranked eighth in the November 2009 Green500 list, which identifies the top energy-efficient supercomputers globally.

Tianhe-1, according to the report, is theoretically capable of over 1 quadrillion calculations per second, or a peak performance of 1 petaflop. It added that the supercomputing cluster will be targeted at both local and overseas markets for various purposes, including petroleum exploration data processing, biomedical research, aviation equipment development and resource exploration.

A spokesperson from National SuperComputer Center said in the report the facility will promote Tianhe-1 from January 2010 and deploy the system according to customers' software needs.

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