China Muscles Out US on List of Fastest Supercomputers

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2016-06-20 Print this article Print
Chinese supercomputer

Other than the top spot, not much has changed among the top 10 fastest systems. The introduction of Sunway TaihuLight knocked off the Dell-based Stampede system at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), which was in the 10th slot on the November list. TACC officials earlier this month announced a $30 million award from the National Science Foundation to build a new large-scale supercomputer—Stampede 2—that will deliver twice the peak performance, memory, storage capacity and bandwidth of the current system, which went online in 2013. It will be based on Dell PowerEdge servers and powered by a mix of the next generation of Intel Xeon chips and the chip maker's many-core Xeon Phi "Knights Landing" processors. It will be in place in 2018, providing 18 petaflops of peak performance.

Among other regions, Europe had 105 systems on the latest list, two fewer than in November. Asia in all had 218 systems on the list, up from 173.

There also is a continued slowdown in the total combined performance of all 500 systems. It's grown to 566.7 petaflops/second—over 420 six months ago. But the growth is smaller than the long-term trend had been, organizers said.

Intel continues to be the top chip provider in the list, with 455 systems, or about 91 percent. IBM's Power chips are in 23 systems, down from 26 in November, and AMD's Opteron chips are in 13 systems, or 2.6 percent. AMD had 4.2 percent of the systems on the previous list.

HPE has the largest total number of systems with 127, or 25.4 percent, followed by Lenovo with 84 systems and Cray with 60.

Ninety-three systems on the list use accelerators or coprocessors to improve workload performance while keeping a lid on power consumption. Sixty-three of them use Nvidia GPUs and 26 use Intel's Xeon Phi coprocessors. Three use AMD's Radeon GPUs and two use Pezy custom chips from Japanese vendor Pezy Computing. Three of the systems use both Nvidia GPUs and Intel's Xeon Phis.



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