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Stronger Computing Power Lays Solid Foundation for China's Digital Economy

By Xinhua|Feb 02,2024

A staff member demonstrates the AI-powered large language model dubbed "Spark Desk" at the iFLYTEK Co. Ltd. in Hefei, east China's Anhui Province, Jan. 19, 2024. (Photo/Xinhua)

Hefei - China's artificial intelligence (AI) and intelligent speech giant iFLYTEK has launched a new version of its AI-powered large language model, Spark Desk 3.5, which is completely trained by domestic computing power.

The new model unveiled on Tuesday features a major upgrade of seven capabilities, including mathematics, language understanding and coding, said Liu Qingfeng, chairman of iFLYTEK.

The company debuted Spark Desk in May last year, and by the end of 2023, a total of 27,000 developers had developed 49,000 apps based on this model, transforming their various innovations into products and services.

As of October 2023, 238 large-scale models had been launched in China, according to official data. The total scale of China's computing power has ranked second in the world, and the number of AI enterprises has exceeded 4,400, said Xin Guobin, vice minister of industry and information technology, at a recent conference.

Computing power, algorithms and data are regarded as the basis of the digital economy. By 2025, the added value of the core industries of the digital economy will account for 10 percent of China's GDP, according to the 14th Five-Year Digital Economy Development Plan issued by the State Council.

Driven by the needs of a booming digital economy and large language models, developing stronger computing power has become the focus of China's strategic layout.

Origin Wukong, China's independently developed third-generation superconducting quantum computer, went into operation on Jan. 6, in Hefei, east China's Anhui Province.

The quantum computer is powered by Wukong, a 72-qubit indigenous superconducting quantum chip. It is China's latest and most advanced programmable and deliverable superconducting quantum computer.

Not long ago, also in Hefei, "Jiuzhang 3.0," a quantum computing prototype was unveiled, capable of solving Gaussian boson sampling problems 10 quadrillion times faster than the world's existing fastest supercomputers.

A visitor takes photos of a model of the quantum computing prototype "Jiuzhang" at the 2nd China (Anhui) Science and Technology Innovation Achievement Transformation Fair held in Hefei of east China's Anhui Province, April 26, 2023. (Photo/Xinhua)

According to an industry report, China's scale of intelligent computing power reached 260 EFLOPS in 2022 and is expected to reach 1,117 EFLOPS in 2027, realizing a compound annual growth rate of 33.9 percent.

The stronger computing power has integrated with various industries and injected new impetus into the digital economy.

Large-scale models have been used in various industries, including automotive, finance, education, energy and the medical field, to achieve more intelligent and high-efficiency design, production and services.

Regions across China have rolled out a slew of measures to boost computing power infrastructure development. Shanghai, for example, has launched the computing power trading platform and public computing power service platform. Southwest China's Guizhou Province plans to build a base providing computing power to the whole country.

Kong Weicheng, deputy director of the Anhui Quantum Computing Engineering Research Center, said quantum computing will further strengthen computing power, driving new productive forces in the future.

"The future goal is that quantum computing can provide more stable and practical computing power, contributing to stronger computing power in China, together with supercomputing and intelligent computing," said Kong.


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