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India is building a monsoon-predicting supercomputer


Reuters reports that while government representatives won't say who will provide the new supercomputer, it will be 10 times faster than India's existing supercomputer, supplied by IBM. Once operational, the machine will generate 3D weather models of India's 29 states with help from data collected by balloons, planes and satellites. Government scientists hope to have the supercomputer ready before monsoon season next year, which typically lasts between June and September and provides the country with 80 percent of its total annual rainfall. As one of the biggest producers of many fresh fruits and vegetables, but also rice and wheat, the machine could boost India's farming output by up to 15 percent, justifying the cost of the new supercomputer in just one season.

US funds tech giants' efforts to build next-gen supercomputers


The US government is giving six companies a total of $258 million in hopes that they can build an exascale supercomputer before China, Japan or anyone else does. A post on the Exascale Computing Project website has revealed that the Department of Energy has awarded AMD, Cray, HP, IBM, Intel and Nvidia $258 million in funding over a three-year period. The six corporations won't depend solely on the government's money, though -- to show that they're also fully invested in the project, they'll cover 40 percent of the total costs that could amount to least $430 million. An exascale supercomputer would be capable of making a billion billion calculations per second and is expected to have the same processing power as the human brain at neural level. It could change the way we do research, help us conjure up elusive treatments for illnesses and unravel the mysteries of our planet and the universe.

World's fastest supercomputer is entirely made in China: report

The Japan Times

BEIJING – China has built the world's fastest supercomputer using locally made microchips, a survey said Monday, the first time the country has taken the top spot without using U.S. technology. The Sunway TaihuLight machine is twice as fast as the previous No. 1, which was built in China with chips from American firm Intel, the Top500 survey of supercomputers said on its website China also has more top-ranked supercomputers than the U.S. for the first time since the survey began, with 167, two more than the U.S. Located at China's national supercomputer centre in the eastern city of Wuxi, the Sunway TaihuLight will be used for climate modelling and life science research. Its performance ends "speculation that China would have to rely on Western technology to compete effectively in the upper echelons of supercomputing," the survey's website said. The supercomputers on the Top500 list, which is produced twice a year, are rated based on speed in a benchmark test by experts from Germany and the U.S. Of the top ten fastest computers, two are in China, with four in the U.S., the ranking said.

China's policing robot: Cattle prod meets supercomputer


China's fastest supercomputers have some clear goals, namely development of its artificial intelligence, robotics industries and military capability, says the U.S. But some of the early iterations of this effort seem a little weird. China recently deployed what it calls a "security robot" in a Shenzhen airport. It's named AnBot and patrols around the clock. Here's what AnBot looks like, according to a Chinese government newspaper, The People's Daily online.

Life expectancy to be extended by more than a DECADE with new supercomputers


Supercomputers will accelerate medical advancements and will lead to an increased life expectancy of over 10 years, scientists at the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC), Ireland's leading supercomputing organisation. The difference between a standard computer and a supercomputer is that the former operates on million instructions per second (MIPS) while a supercomputer runs on floating-point operations per second (FLOPS). In layman's terms, supercomputers have a much faster processor and can run more complex tasks – for example they are currently being used for nuclear research. The supercomputers are capable of doing a lot more research and Prof Jean-Christophe Desplat, director of ICHEC says that it will lead to a prolonged lifespan for humans.