(Economic Observation) After the "South-to-North Water Diversion", China has begun to "calculate the east and count the west"

  China News Agency, Beijing, February 17th, title: After the "South-to-North Water Diversion", China has begun to "calculate the east and count the west"

  China News Agency reporter Zhou Rui

  After the West-to-East Power Transmission and the South-to-North Water Diversion, China will once again allocate resources on a large scale across its vast territory.

  China's National Development and Reform Commission disclosed on the 17th that it has issued a notice with several departments, agreeing to start the construction of national computing power hubs in 8 places including Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, Yangtze River Delta, Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Chengdu-Chongqing, Inner Mongolia, Guizhou, Gansu, and Ningxia. node, and planned 10 national data center clusters.

  This means that the overall layout design of the national integrated big data center system has been completed, and the "East Number and West Calculation" project has been officially launched.

  Unbalanced computing power supply and demand

  In "East Number and West Calculation", "number" refers to data, and "calculation" refers to computing power, that is, the ability to process data.

  If agriculture depends on water conservancy and industry depends on electricity, then the data economy depends on computing power.

  The relevant person in charge of the National Development and Reform Commission pointed out that a new round of technological revolution and industrial transformation is reshaping the global economic structure.

As the core productivity of the digital economy, computing power has become the new focus of global strategic competition.

  The person in charge revealed that as of now, the scale of China's data centers has reached 5 million standard racks, and the computing power has reached 130EFLOPS (1300 billion floating point operations per second).

The demand for computing power in the whole society is expected to continue to grow rapidly at a rate of more than 20% every year.

  But like water and electricity, the supply of computing power in China is also unbalanced.

At present, China's computing power demand and computing power supply are mainly concentrated in the east.

However, in the face of the shortage of land and energy, it is not realistic to continue to develop data centers on a large scale in the east.

  Multiple-choice questions on "watts" and "bits"

  How to solve the imbalance between supply and demand of computing power? Decision makers need to make a multiple-choice question: "send watts" or "send bits"?

  "Sending watts" means that a large number of data centers are still deployed in the east, and at the same time, the energy advantages of the west are used to send electricity to the east to support the data center to form a computing power supply.

  "Sending bits" means building a large-scale data center in the west, supporting the formation of computing power through the local use of energy, and then sending data to the east to meet its demand for computing power.

  Considering that there will be about 10% energy loss in long-distance power transmission, and optical fiber transmission of digital signals will not have such problems, the option of "sending bits" is put on the table.

The goal of "East Numbers and West Calculations" is to guide the demand for computing power in the east to the west in an orderly manner by building a new computing power network system that integrates data centers, cloud computing, and big data.

  "One stone, many birds" policy arrangement

  The advancement of "counting the east and counting the west" will bring about the effect of "multiple birds with one stone".

  The first is to upgrade the computing power supply system.

  According to the National Development and Reform Commission, the large-scale and intensive effects of the construction of the eight computing power hubs can improve the overall computing power scale and efficiency in the region where the computing power hubs are located, and drive the development of upstream and downstream industries related to data centers.

Between the computing power hubs, optimizing the network structure, opening up the high-speed data transmission network, strengthening cloud-network integration and multi-cloud collaboration will also promote the efficient complementarity and synergistic linkage of computing power between the east and the west, and accelerate the realization of a reasonable layout of data centers nationwide and a balance between supply and demand. , green intensification and interconnection.

  The second is to drive the economic development of the eastern and western regions.

  The East, where the demand for computing power is growing rapidly, will undoubtedly benefit from the "calculation in the east".

Western China will also gain strong growth momentum due to the construction of data centers.

  According to industry insiders, the industrial chain related to data center construction is very long, which involves both traditional civil engineering, IT equipment manufacturing, information communication, basic software, green energy supply and other industries.

Therefore, the construction of data centers will effectively drive upstream and downstream investment in the industry.

  The third is to reduce the cost of data transformation for SMEs.

  The computing power network constructed by Eastern Digital and Western Computing can promote the construction of data centers according to local conditions, achieve differentiated and complementary development, and avoid repeated investment and construction.

This means that small and medium-sized enterprises will obtain more abundant cloud services in the future, thereby reducing the cost of cloud data usage and accelerating their digital transformation.