China is known as one of the world’s major powers, but it has not fully emerged, and many factors hinder its progress. The United States has long blocked China from purchasing high-performance American hardware. However, China is not standing idly by and plans to build an underwater data center, which they claim will have a performance equivalent to 6 million PCs.
The United States has had numerous disputes with China, constantly accusing it of espionage and theft. Americans are unwilling to see their security compromised by Chinese spies, so they have been confronting companies such as Huawei for years. In fact, a few months ago, they launched a harsh attack on the Chinese industry, preventing the country from acquiring hardware and machinery.
China begins construction of an underwater data center
This has put China in an unfavorable position, forcing it to manufacture hardware domestically. We have already seen Huawei revive with its latest smartphones using SMIC’s 7 nm chips, and although their Loongson CPUs remain behind Intel and AMD, they are currently attractive to Russia amid conflict. In fact, Putin’s nation began buying hundreds of these CPUs, and in record time, they made them compatible with their Alt OS Linux-based operating system.
The problem is that China is still far behind in CPU performance, and the same can be said for its GPUs, as an MTT S80 performs roughly like a GTX 1650 despite having much more computing power. Recently, NVIDIA stopped selling its GPUs in China due to U.S. orders, and the country’s factories were dismantling the last RTX 4090s that arrived and “converting” them into AI GPUs. Amid all this, it has now been announced that China is beginning construction on an underwater data center with enormous performance. The data center will contain data storage units, each capable of processing over four million high-definition images in 30 seconds, equivalent to the performance of around 60,000 PCs operating simultaneously.
Each unit weighs 1,300 tons, and the data center will occupy 68,000 square meters
Each data storage unit weighs a massive 1,300 tons, equivalent to around 1,000 cars. Up to 100 storage units might be used in China’s future underwater data center, providing a performance equivalent to 6 million PCs. The data center will be enormous in size, covering 68,000 square meters – almost the area of 10 soccer fields. Both the dimensions and weight make it a significant challenge to transport the center to a depth of about 35 meters.
It takes approximately 3 hours to place a unit, and they have an estimated lifespan of 25 years, able to withstand natural phenomena. With this underwater data center, China aims to save around 122 million kWh of electricity and 105,000 tons of fresh water per year. Moreover, being submerged at depths of tens of meters below the sea, the cold water temperature allows for cost-free cooling. According to the project director, the completed data center will be between 40% and 60% more energy-efficient than land-based data centers. The construction will cost $879 million, and completion is expected in the second quarter of 2025.