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Chinese Sunway Bluelight Super is DEC Alpha, One Decade Removed

Nebojsa Novakovic has posted some interesting details on the Chinese-built processor used in the Sunway Bluelight supercomputer, which ranked number 14 on the recent TOP500 list. The rumors seem to be correct; the CPU is based on the DEC Alpha processor.

SW3 aka SW1600 is a 16-core, 64-bit RISC processor, with each core looking a lot like an improved version of the 21164A EV56 Alpha core, plus vector FP unit extension added to each core. While the initial speed range was 1 to 1.2 GHz in the 65nm process, the standard speed grade is a 1.1 GHz chip with 141 GFLOPs DP FP performance. The speed set for the Bluelight Petaflop machine’s Top 500 run was 975 MHz, though. The quad-channel 128-bit DDR3 on-chip memory controller offers 68 GB/s bandwidth – yes, equivalent to 8 channels of DDR3-1066 server RAM.

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