China’s accelerating bid for computing power

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If a country wants to be the world leader in the digital space, three things are most crucial: data, computing power and algorithm. China is rapidly approaching this goal and has taken a big leap forward in computing power. It ranks second in the 2021-2022 Global Computing Power Index assessment report, only after the United States.

A report released in late March jointly by Tsinghua University, International Data Corp. and Chinese information technology company Inspur Information assesses the computing power of 15 major economies from a number of aspects and concludes that China’s computing power grew by 13.5%, the highest in all. .

Computing power defines productivity

Data, like oil, is an indispensable resource in the 21st century. And data processing capacity, namely computing power, largely determines the landscape of the digital world and even the size of the national economy.

The report highlights a direct correlation between economic growth and computing power: each point of growth in the computing index translates into a 3.5 per thousand increase in the size of the digital economy and a growth of 1. 8 per thousand of gross domestic product. (GDP).

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“For every yuan invested in building computing power, three to four yuan of GDP will be generated,” said Zhang Yu, senior vice president of chipmaker Yusur Technology.

Driven by interest, the competition for computing power between countries around the world is becoming increasingly intense.

The application – the source of the invention

Apart from financial returns, computing power has also become the crucial area in the competition for global influence.

Yu Yang, an assistant professor at Tsinghua University’s Institute of Interdisciplinary Information Science, believes the driving force behind much of this trend was the huge market demand brought about by the exponential growth of the innovation, such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and augmented reality. .

Yu said that the development of emerging technologies and computing power are mutually beneficial, because computing power provides technical support for emerging technologies, which in turn advances the evolution of computing.

But to generate these synergistic benefits, there should be enough internet infrastructure capacity to power the computing power, Yu added.

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Mega Infrastructure Plans

China approved the “Eastern Data and Western Computing” project in February to take the country’s overall computing power to the next level.

The effort results in the construction of eight IT hubs and 10 data center clusters across the country. The cooperation between IT assets and traditional assets is expected to produce huge synergies with an amplified and long-term effect on economic growth.

By channeling computing power from China’s eastern economic powers to western regions, the data center project is expected to achieve a dual goal: ensuring the free flow of data nationwide and making better use of green energy. in the western regions to advance the low carbon transition.

Zhang said the huge project will provide huge opportunities for private sector companies such as IT equipment suppliers and processor designers.

The computing power market is not yet so mature. Significant improvements in laws and regulations still need to be made. In order to provide every player with equal access to IT services, Yu said a single market-driven pricing mechanism is not enough and the government should intervene in pricing and market design for allocation. computing power.

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The future of processing units

However, the big challenge is how to improve the overall data processing capacity so that it can become the driver, rather than the ceiling, of the development of emerging technologies.

With standard data center bandwidth expected to increase from 25G to 100G over the next five years, central processing units won’t be able to process as much data at high speeds, Zhang said.

To solve this problem, a high-performance processor is needed, such as graphics processing units and data processing units (DPU). And each of them was created to adapt to an ever-changing IT landscape. But Zhang said the DPU is more efficient than other processors at processing massive amounts of data in data center scenarios, and the combination of the three processors would create a much more balanced and efficient computing infrastructure.

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