Fujitsu's supercomputer became the first system to exceed the 10-petaflop performance barrier, according to the Top500 list.
- Fujitsu's K Computer, which in June put Japan back at the top of the list of
the world's most powerful supercomputers, kept the No. 1 ranking in the latest
list, becoming the first system to pass the 10-petaflop barrier.
supercomputer, which is being installed at the Riken Advanced Institute for
Computational Science (AICS) in Kobe, Japan, hit a peak performance of 10.51
petaflops (quadrillions of floating-point operations per second), according to
the latest list released Nov. 14 by the Top500.org group.
In June, the K Computer
which is powered by 705,024 of Fujitsu's SPARC64 processors spread over 864
server racks, hit a peak of 8.16 petaflops. It was the first time since
2004-when Fujitsu's Earth Simulator was dethroned-that a Japanese computer led
The list was
released on the first day of the SC 11 supercomputing show here, which is
expected to draw as many as 10,000 people.
The K Computer
easily outdistanced the No. 2 system, the Tianhe-1A supercomputer in China,
which hit a peak of 2.57 petaflops. A year ago, the Tianhe-1A system was on top
of the Top500 list. Overall, the list released Nov. 14 looks exactly as it did
"This is the
first time since we began publishing the list back in 1993 that the top 10
systems showed no turnover," TOP500 editor Erich Strohmaier said in a
the top five are a supercomputer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, powered
by Cray's XT5 systems, which run on Opteron processors from Advanced Micro
Devices; a system at the National Supercomputer Center in China, powered by
Intel's Xeon processors and Nvidia's graphics technology; and the system at the
GSIC Center at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, which is based on Intel-based
ProLiant servers from Hewlett-Packard that also leverage Nvidia GPUs.
Computer doesn't use any graphics accelerators, which are becoming more popular
in helping systems makers increase performance as well as energy efficiency.
According to the Top500 list, 39 systems now use such graphics accelerators,
more than twice the 17 systems on the list six months ago. Thirty-five of those
use Nvidia graphics chips, two use IBM's Cell processor and two use AMD's ATI
Radeon GPUs. Three of the top five are using Nvidia GPUs to accelerate the
computational capabilities, according to the list.
the core counts on the chips being used in these HPC systems are going up,
according to the list. About 62 percent of all the supercomputers on the list
use processors that offer six or more cores, and that is sure to go up. AMD on
Nov. 14 officially launched its Opteron 6200 "Interlagos" processors, which
offer up to 16 cores.
Intel remains the top chip vendor to the HPC space, powering 76.8 percent-or
384-of the supercomputers in the Top500 list. However, that is a slight drop
from six months ago, when Intel claimed 386 systems, or 77.2 percent. AMD is
second with 63 systems, or 12 percent, according to the list. That also is down
slightly, from 66 supercomputers on the June list.
processors are No. 3, with 49 systems, or 9.8 percent, up from 45
IBM is still
by far the top server vendor in terms of total performance on the list, but due
in large part to the K Computer, Fujitsu is now No. 2, ahead of Cray at No. 3.
vendors, IBM accounted for 223 systems on the list-or 44.6 percent-while HP had
140 (28 percent).