IBM, Cray Dominate List of Top 10 Fastest Supercomputers

1 - IBM, Cray Dominate List of Top 10 Fastest Supercomputers
2 - Still the Reigning King
3 - Titan at No. 2, but on the Clock
4 - Sequoia Also a Short-Timer
5 - Japan's K Computer Remains at No. 4
6 - Mira Is Another IBM System
7 - Piz Daint Spends a Year in the Top 10
8 - Stampede Leverages Intel Xeon Phi Coprocessors
9 - JuQueen Is Europe's Second-Fastest System
10 - Vulcan Has Many Jobs
11 - Cray's CS Storm and Its Unknown User
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IBM, Cray Dominate List of Top 10 Fastest Supercomputers

by Jeffrey Burt

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Still the Reigning King

China's Tianhe-2 system has been at the top of the list since it first became No. 1 in June 2013. The system, powered by Intel Xeon chips and Xeon Phi coprocessors, has a max performance of 33.86 petaflops and a peak of just under 55 petaflops. It's about twice as fast as the No. 2 system.

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Titan at No. 2, but on the Clock

The Titan system running at the Oak Ridge National Lab—a Cray XK7 system powered by Advanced Micro Devices Opteron chips and Nvidia Tesla K20x GPU accelerators—is due to be replaced in 2017 by Summit, which will offer a peak performance of more than 100 petaflops.

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Sequoia Also a Short-Timer

The IBM BlueGene/Q supercomputer at the Lawrence Livermore Lab also will be replaced in 2017. Sierra, Sequoia's replacement, also will have a peak performance of more than 100 petaflops.

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Japan's K Computer Remains at No. 4

The supercomputer runs on Fujitsu's SPARC64 VIIIfx processors and is installed at the Riken Advanced Institute of Computational Science in Japan. The number of Japanese supercomputers on the Top500 list increased from 30 to 32 since June.

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Mira Is Another IBM System

The BlueGene/Q system is housed at the Argonne National Lab. IBM has 153 systems on the Top500 list, including four of the top 10. Only Hewlett-Packard, with 179 supercomputers, has more on the list.

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Piz Daint Spends a Year in the Top 10

The Cray system, leveraging Xeon chips and Nvidia GPU accelerators and installed at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre, made it on the list for the first time in November 2013.

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Stampede Leverages Intel Xeon Phi Coprocessors

Stampede, which is at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, is based on Dell PowerEdge servers running on Xeon chips and Xeon Phi coprocessors. Twenty-five systems on the list use Xeon Phis to accelerate application performance. Fifty systems use GPU accelerators from Nvidia; another three use GPUs from AMD.

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JuQueen Is Europe's Second-Fastest System

The IBM BlueGene/Q system is housed at the Julich Supercomputing Centre in Germany. The number of European systems on the Top500 list grew from 116 in June to 130 in November.

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Vulcan Has Many Jobs

The IBM BlueGene/Q system, also at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab, is used for a variety of efforts, from improving U.S. economic competitiveness to running academic workloads.

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Cray's CS Storm and Its Unknown User

The supercomputer, powered by Xeon E5-2660 v2 chips and Nvidia K40 GPUs, is run by an unnamed U.S. government agency.

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