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Taiwan-built Forerunner 1 supercomputer goes online

07/08/2024 08:43 PM
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Photo courtesy of National Center for High-performance Computing
Photo courtesy of National Center for High-performance Computing

Taipei, July 8 (CNA) Forerunner 1, a replacement for the retired Taiwania 1, has officially entered service at the Tainan branch of the National Center for High-performance Computing (NCHC), Taiwan's only national-level supercomputing center.

The NCHC-built Forerunner 1 has 62,496 computing cores, a peak performance of up to 3.5 petaflops and 9.2 PB (petabytes) of storage, the National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs) said in a statement released Monday.

The NCHC is one of seven national laboratories that make up NARLabs, an independent nonprofit institute under the guidance of the Cabinet-level National Science and Technology Council.

According to NARLabs, the new supercomputer is suitable for various high-performance computing tasks related to climate prediction, astrophysics, molecular modeling and engineering.

Forerunner 1 replaces the 2017-built Taiwania 1 as the NCHC's leading supercomputer in terms of central processing unit (CPU) power.

Forerunner 1, construction on which began in 2023, provides enhanced computing performance and better energy efficiency, NCHC Director General Chang Chau-lyan (張朝亮) said.

As global advancements in high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) accelerate, the enhancement of computing power is directly tied to a nation's technological competitiveness, Chang said.

With that in mind, the NCHC will progressively establish a more robust computational infrastructure, he said.

According to Chang, the center will complete the installation of 16 petaflops of graphics processing unit (GPU) computing power by the end of this year to meet the demands of research and applications related to large language models and data-driven AI.

Following the trend set by leading countries in high-speed computing infrastructure, the center aims to achieve between 200 and 300 petaflops of computing power by 2028, Chang said.

(By Chang Ai and Evelyn Kao)

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