China to launch Tianhe-3 supercomputer in 2020

China claims it will have the world’s first ‘exascale supercomputer’ operational by 2020. The computer will be the fastest computer of its kind in the world, ready to handle one quintillion calculations per second. That is a 1 with 18 zeros.

Deutsche Welle reports that the Tianhe-3 will be 10 times faster than the current fastest supercomputer in the world, the Sunway TaihuLight. Scientists hope to use the vast calculation power to analyse smog distribution, gene sequence and protein structures to help develop new medicines. They also say it will simulate earthquakes and epidemic outbreaks in greater detail, "allowing swifter and more effective government responses."

The report makes an effort to explain how powerful a processing speed of 1 quintillion calculations per second is. “It would take more than 18,000 Playstation 4s to match the Tianhe-2 – which”… “is 10 times slower than the Tianhe-3 will be.”

Further reading on DW

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