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10 of the world's fastest supercomputers

The cream of the Top500 supercomputer list

Network World [slideshow] - Top 10 Supercomputers 2018 [slide-01]
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10 of the world's fastest supercomputers

Results of the June 2019 TOP500 ranking of the world’s fastest supercomputers is in, and for the first time each of the top 500 delivering at least 1 petaflop of performance. China has the most systems on the list – 219 – and the U.S. claims five of the top 10. Lenovo tops the list of manufacturers on the list, with 173 systems made by the Chinese company. Intel chips appear in 95.6 percent of the systems on the list. Just one new system joined the top 10, with the other nine having appeared somewhere among the 500 in previous rankings. This slideshow includes a brief description of the top 10 accompanied by photos of the systems.

lassen supercomputer

10. Lassen

Lassen is the unclassified version of Sierra, its classified sister machine at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. It is slower than its sibling at 18.2 petaflops, but that’s still an improvement over its top speed as measured last fall, which was 15.4 petaflops. It has an IBM Power9/NVIDIA V100 GPU architecture.

General view of the SuperMUC-NG, LRZ / Leibniz Supercomputing Centre, Garching bei München, Germany

9. SuperMUC-NG

SuperMUC-NG broke into the top 10 last fall at number eight. It was built for the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre in Germany by Lenovo, comprised of Intel Platinum Xeon processors and the company’s Omni-Path interconnect. It is the most powerful supercomputer that is powered solely by x86 processors and can deliver HPL performance of 19.5 petaflops.

AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure supercomputer
Japan National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)

8. AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure (ABCI)

Installed at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan, AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure (ABCI) drops from number seven to number eight. It is an energy-efficient machine built by Fujitsu using Primergy CX2550 servers equipped with Xeon Gold processors and Nvidia Tesla V100 GPUs. It’s capable of 19.9 petaflops and boasts energy efficiency of 12.05 gigaflops/watt.

The Trinity supercomputer at the Los Alamos National Laboratory [LANL]

7. Trinity

Trinity, a Cray XC40 system operated by Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories peaks out at 20.2 petaflops, which earns it the number seven position. It’s powered by Intel Xeon and Xeon Phi processors and is housed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory. Its power efficiency is 3.678 gigaflops/watt.

The Cray XC30 \'Piz Daint\' system at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre

6. Piz Daint

Falling one spot from number five to number six is Piz Daint, which, until now, had risen steadily from number 114 back in 2012. A Cray XC50 system installed at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) in Lugano, Switzerland, it’s equipped with Intel Xeon CPUs and NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPUs. Piz Daint remains the most powerful system in Europe with a 21.2 petaflop performance.

frontera supercomputer

5. Frontera

Frontera is the only new supercomputer in the top 10, jumping in at number five. It is a Dell C6420 system, powered by Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 processors, and is installed at the Texas Advanced Computing Center of the University of Texas, Austin. It’s peak performance is 23.5 petaflops on HPL.


Tianhe-2 [TH-2/MilkyWay-2]
Professor Yutong Lu / National Super Computing Center, Guangzhou, China

4. Tianhe-2A (Milky Way 2A)

The Tianhe-2A system, developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology and deployed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou, China, maintained its ranking of number 4. It is powered by Intel Xeon E5-2692v2 and Matrix-2000 processors with a core count near 5 million. Its maximum performance is 61.4 petaflops (the same as before), and its power efficiency is 3.325 gigaflops per watt.

Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer, National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi Jiangsu, China

3. Sunway TaihuLight

Sunway TaihuLight spent two years at the number 1 spot, but has been dropping, ranking number 2 in June and now number 3. Installed at China’s National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, it’s HPL performance of 93.0 petaflops. It’s notable for not using any accelerator chips, relying instead on 40,960 Sunway 26010 processors, each with 260 cores. Its power efficiency is 6.051 gigaflops/watt.

sierra supercomputer lawrence livermore national laboratory
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

2. Sierra

Sierra, built by IBM for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, Sierra remains at number two on the TOP500 list. It has 1,572,480 cores supplied by IBM Power9 processors and boosted by Nvidia Volta GV100 accelerators, which add another 1,382,400 cores to the mix. Its performance remains unchanged from six months ago at 94.6 petaflops.

summit supercomputer 5
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

1. Summit

Summit is making its third appearance at the top of the Top 500 supercomputer speed list, each time improving its top performance between ratings. This time, it’s delivering 148.6 petaflops, up from 143.5 petaflops last fall. It was built for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory with 2,282,544 IBM Power9 cores and 2,090,880 Nvidia Volta GV100 cores. Summit has a theoretical peak performance of 187.66 petaflops and maintains a power efficiency of 11.324 gigaflops/watt.