China: Supercomputer shutdown after Tianjin twin blasts

  • PTI, Beijing
  • Updated: Aug 13, 2015 18:57 IST
Smoke billows out from the site of an explosion that reduced a parking lot filled with new cars to charred remains at a warehouse in northeastern China's Tianjin municipality. (AP/PTI)

China on Thursday shut down one of the world's fastest supercomputer Tianhe-1A due to the twin blasts in Tianjin city that killed 44 people. The office building housing Tianhe-1, one of the world's fastest supercomputers, suffered damage, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Tianhe-1 has not been damaged but some of its operations were shutdown as a precaution, officials said.

Tianhe-1 provides data services to more than 300 organisations across China, including several universities and banks. It was developed by the Changsha-based National University of Defense Technology in 2009, and China thus became the world's second country capable of developing petaflop supercomputers after the United States.

It could handle 1000 trillion floating point operations per second. China's super computer Tianhe-1 has overtaken its rival Nebule to regain top spot as China's fastest computer, creating a new record, a new list of China's Top 100 supercomputers released here said.

Housed at the National Centre for Supercomputing in northern port city of Tianjin, Tianhe-1, meaning Milky Way, has a sustained computing speed of 2,507 trillion calculations, or 2.507 petaflops, per second. Subsequently China developed Tianhe-2, or Milkyway-2 which surpassed the US Titan supercomputer in 2013.

The Tianhe-2, based Guangzhou has a peak performance speed of 54.9 quadrillion operations per second, according to the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT), which built the computer. At least 44 people have been killed and 520 others injured, 66 of them critically, in twin blasts at a warehouse containing chemical and toxic materials in Tianjin.

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