CHINA: According to the latest supercomputing reports, China is set to build the world’s first exascale computer by as early as 2019, which is is defined as one that is capable of conducting one billion billion calculations per second. Making it 10 times faster than the current world’s fastest computer, the Sunway Taihulight, and capable of the same calculation power as the world’s top 500 super computers combined. An Hong, a professor of computer science at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei and a member of the advisory committee on high performance computer development in the central government, has stated that this exascale computer will be utilised for China’s maritime expansion and narrow the maritime power gap between China and the US by providing the most thorough analysis of marine-related data sets. It can also be utilised for high-end equipment manufacturing, oil exploration and car collision simulation. Thus, allowing for China to possess a greater stance over international affairs due to an increased knowledge over manufacturing systems, ocean simulations, weather forecasts and climate change. In turn, this has spurred the US government to commissioned six companies including IBM, Intel and Hewlett Packard Enterprise to derive counter intelligence solutions against China’s lead on high performance computing and hopes to establish its own exascale computer by 2021. Currently, China not only hosts Sunway and Tianhe, which are the first and second ranking supercomputers on international performance charts, but also overtook the US in 2017 in terms of installed supercomputing capacity. An event that Horst Simon, deputy director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California has termed as an “inflection point”.
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