China targets 50% boost in computing power as AI race with U.S. ramps up

An undated conceptual illustration of China’s know-how aspirations.

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China plans to extend its computing power by 50% by 2025, the nation’s key ministries mentioned Monday, as it appears to maintain tempo with the U.S. in synthetic intelligence and supercomputing functions.

The world’s second-largest financial system needs to have computing capability equal to 300 exaflops, in keeping with a plan from six authorities departments, together with the highly effective our on-line world regulator. That could be up from the 197 exaflop computing power the nation at the moment has.

An exaflop, or EFLOP, refers to a unit of computing power. For context, one exaflop is equal to the computing power of two million mainstream laptop computer computer systems, in keeping with Counterpoint Research.

The Chinese ministries mentioned that the elevated computing power might be required to assist functions in industries together with finance and training.

Expanding computing power is seen as key for supporting the event of synthetic intelligence which requires superior semiconductors to course of large quantities of information.

“China has discovered that historically, each 1 yuan invested in computing power has pushed 3-4 yuan of financial output,” Akshara Bassi, senior analysis analyst at Counterpoint, advised CNBC by way of e-mail. “The investments echo China’s plans to drive financial output by management in know-how prowess and integrating AI with present applied sciences and options throughout all industries and domains.”

Technologies like semiconductors and AI have turn into key battlegrounds in the tech rivalry between the U.S. and China.

“China goals to speculate in rising in its computing power particularly the AI, as it sees its main cloud suppliers launching AI options en masse for shoppers and enterprises,” Bassi mentioned.

As a part of its computing push, China needs to concentrate on areas such as reminiscence storage and networks for transmitting knowledge, and it is usually planning to construct extra knowledge facilities.

These are required for cloud computing gamers to develop their footprint. Many AI applications currently are sold via cloud computing services, such as these provided by Chinese giants like Alibaba and Tencent.

Supply chain

The Chinese ministries mentioned that the safety of the availability chain can even be strengthened.

The nation’s know-how provide chain has been beneath stress over the previous few years as the U.S. has used export controls and different sanctions to try to chop the Asian nation off from key applied sciences like chips.

In response, China has sought to boost the capabilities of its homegrown industries in a few of these areas.

Washington took be aware of a current growth in which Chinese tech champion Huawei released a new smartphone with a 5G chip — which was stunning as U.S. sanctions had been designed to forestall this.

Counterpoint’s Bassi mentioned that China’s ambitions to boost computing power may very well be held again by U.S. sanctions that prohibit the nation’s entry to some important semiconductors, such as the graphics processing models, or GPUs, offered by American chip designer Nvidia.

“Access to newest and finest in class AI chips/GPUs is the first impediment that the nation faces resulting from chip ban in increasing its AI knowledge facilities,” Bassi mentioned.

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