10 petaflop Japanese supercomputer world's fastest

Gigabit Ethernet is still the most-used system interconnect technology amongst supercomputers

the K
As perhaps expected, the Japanese supercomputer ranked #1 on the Top 500 fastest supercomputers defended its title and today was listed again the world's fastest machine, this time  hitting 10 quadrillion calculations per second (10.51 petaflops). The TOP500 list was previously announced in June 2011.

Run by Fujitsu and Riken, the supercomputer "K" consists of 864 racks, comprising a total of 88,128 interconnected CPUs and has a theoretical calculation speed of 11.28 petaflops, the companies said.

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The K speed was four times the speed of its nearest competitor, China's Tianhe-1A system, which achieved 2.57 petaflops, powered by Intel Xeon and Nvidia graphics chips. The fastest US machine, a Cray XT5-HE computer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, was in third place at 1.75 petaflops. It uses Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron processors, according to an IDG News Service report.

Top 10 Supercomputers on the TOP500 List:

1. K computer

Site: RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS)

Vendor: Fujitsu

Country: Japan

2. Tianhe-1A

Site: National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin

Vendor: NUDT

Country: China

3. Jaguar

Site: DOE/SC/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Vendor: Cray Inc.

Country: United States

4. Nebulae/National Supercomputing Centre in Shenzhen (NSCS)

Vendor: Dawning

Country: China

5. TSUBAME 2.0/ GSIC Center, Tokyo Institute of Technology

Vendor: NEC/HP

Country: Japan


Vendor: Cray Inc.

Country: United States

7. Pleiades/NASA/Ames Research Center/NAS

Vendor: SGI

Country: United States

8. Hopper


Vendor: Cray Inc.

Country: United States

9. Tera-100/Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique (CEA)

Vendor: Bull SA

Country: France

10. Roadrunner/Site: DOE/NNSA/LANL

Vendor: IBM

Country: United States

According to the TOP500 web site, while the top rankings did not change, the latest list does highlight a number of other developments. For example:

  • China keeps increasing its number of systems to 75 and is now clearly the No. 2 country, as a user of HPC, ahead of Japan, UK, France, and Germany.
  • The two Chinese systems at No.2 and No. 4 and the Japanese Tsubame 2.0 system at No. 5 are all using NVIDIA GPUs to accelerate computation.
  • Thirty-nine systems use GPUs as accelerators (up from 17 six months ago), 35 of these use NVIDIA chips, two use Cell processors, and two use ATI Radeon.
  • Already, 62 percent of the systems use processors with six or more cores.
  • Intel continues to provide the processors for the largest share (76.8%) of TOP500 systems.
  • Thanks to the K computer Fujitsu captured the No. 2 spot in market share by total performance slightly ahead of Cray, but IBM stays well ahead of both.
  • A total of 384 systems (76.8%) are now using Intel processors. This is slightly down from six months ago (386 systems 77.2%).
  • They are now followed by the AMD Opteron family with 63 systems (12.6%), down from 66.
  • The share of IBM Power processors has stabilized for now with 49 systems (9.8%), up from 45.
  • Gigabit Ethernet is still the most-used internal system interconnect technology (223 systems, down from 230 systems), due to its widespread use at industrial customers, followed by InfiniBand technology with 213 systems, up from 208 systems. However, InfiniBand-based systems account for almost twice as much performance (28.7 Petaflop/s) than Gigabit Ethernet ones (14.2 Petaflop/s).
  • IBM kept its lead in systems and has now 223 systems (44.6%) compared to HP with 140 systems (28.0 percent). HP had 146 systems (29.2%) six months ago, compared to IBM with 218 systems (43.6%).

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Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.