Monday, June 18, 2012
IBM's Sequoia Supercomputer Towers above the Rest in
Latest TOP500 List
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For the first time since November 2009, a United States
supercomputer sits atop the TOP500 list of the world?s
top supercomputers. Named Sequoia, the IBM BlueGene/Q
system achieved an impressive 16.32 petaflop/s on the
Linpack benchmark using 1,572,864 cores.
Installed at the Department of Energy's Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory, Sequoia is also one of
the most energy efficient systems on the list, which was
released today at the 2012 International Supercomputing
Conference in Hamburg, Germany.
The Top 500 list of supercomputers is compiled twice
each year by Hans Meuer of the University of Mannheim,
Germany; Erich Strohmaier and Horst Simon of Lawrence
Berkeley National Laboratory; and Jack Dongarra of the
University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
On the latest list, Fujitsu's "K Computer" installed at
the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science
(AICS) in Kobe, Japan, is now the No. 2 system with
10.51 Pflop/s on the Linpack benchmark using 705,024
SPARC64 processing cores. The K Computer held the No. 1
spot on the previous two lists.
The new Mira supercomputer, an IBM BlueGene/Q system at
Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, debuted at No.
3, with 8.15 petaflop/s on the Linpack benchmark using
786,432 cores. The other U.S. system in the Top 10 is
the upgraded Jaguar at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in
Tennessee, which was the top U.S. system on the previous
list and now clocks in at No. 6.
The newest list also marks a return of European systems
in force. The most powerful system in Europe and No.4 on
the List is SuperMUC, an IBM iDataplex system installed
at Leibniz Rechenzentrum in Germany. Another German
machine, the JuQUEEN BlueGene/Q at Forschungszentrum
Juelich, is No. 8.
Italy makes its debut in the Top 10 with an IBM
BlueGene/Q system installed at CINECA. The system is at
No. 7 on the list with 1.72 Pflop/s performance. In all,
four of the top 10 supercomputers are IBM BlueGene/Q
systems. France occupies the No. 9 spot with a homegrown
China, which briefly took the No. 1 and No.3 spots in
November 2010, has two systems in the Top 10, with
Tianhe-1Aat the National Supercomputing Center in
Tianjin in No. 5 and Nebulae at the National
Supercomputing Centre in Shenzhen No. 10.
Total performance of all the systems on the list has
increased considerably since November 2011, reaching
123.4 Pflop/s. The combined performance of the last list
was 74.2 Pflop/s. In all, 20 of the supercomputers on
the newest list reached performance levels of 1 Pflop/s
or more. The No. 500 machine on the list notched a
performance level of 60.8 teraflop/s, which was enough
to reach No. 332 just seven months ago.
A total of 372 systems (74.4 percent) are now using
Intel processors, down from 384 systems (76.8 percent)
on the last list. Intel is now followed by the AMD
Opteron family with 63 systems (12.6 percent), same as
in the in the previous list. The share of IBM Power
processors has increased from 49 to 58 systems (11.6
58 systems use accelerators or co-processors (up from 39
six months ago), 53 of these use NVIDIA chips, two use
Cell processors, two use ATI Radeon and there is one new
system with Intel MIC technology.
IBM kept its lead in systems and has now 213 systems
(42.6 percent) compared to HP with 138 systems (27.6
percent). HP is slightly down from 141 systems (28.2
percent) seven months ago, compared to IBM with 223
systems (44.6 percent). In the system category, Cray,
Appro, SGI and Bull follow with 5.4 percent, 3.6
percent, 3.2 percent, and 3.2 percent respectively.
IBM remains the clear leader in the TOP500 list in
performance and considerably increased its share with
47.5 percent of installed total performance (up from
27.3 percent). HP is second with 10.2 percent down from
13.1 percent. Due to the impressive performance of the
No. 1 K Computer, Fujitsu follows closely in the third
spot with 9.9 percent, down from 14.7 percent. Cray
follows in fourth place in this category with 8.9
percent, down from 14.3 percent.
The U.S. is clearly the leading consumer of HPC systems
with 253 of the 500 systems (down from 263). The
European share (107 systems - up from 103) is still
lower than the Asian share (121 systems ? up from 118).
Dominant countries in Asia are China with 68 systems
(down from 74), Japan with 34 systems (up from 30). In
Europe, UK, France, and Germany, are almost equal with
25, 22, and 20 respectively.