Sequoia Put U.S. Back on Top

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Sequoia Put U.S. Back on Top

IBM's Blue Gene/Q supercomputer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory hit a performance of 16.32 petaflops, putting the United States back on top of the Top 500 for the first time in almost three years. Sequoia, which is powered by more than 1.5 Power processing cores, also is the most energy-efficient system on the list.

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K Computer Now a Dethroned Champion

The K Computer, housed at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science in Kobe, Japan, is now No. 2 on the list. The Fujitsu-based system, which was the first to break the 10-petaflop barrier and held the top spot for all of 2011, had a max performance of 10.51 petaflops. It's powered by 705,024 SPARC64 processing cores.

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Another IBM Blue Gene/Q system, Mira, debuted as No. 3. The system, using 786,432 Power processing cores, hit a max performance of 8.15 petaflops and is housed at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.

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The first of 44 systems running Intel's new Xeon E5-2600 processors, the IBM SuperMUC, is the fastest system in Europe and is installed at the Leibniz Rechenzentrum in Germany. The system, with 147,456 Xeon E5-2600 cores, hit a maximum performance of almost 2.9 petaflops.

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At one time the fastest system in the world until it was knocked off its perch last year by the K Computer, the supercomputer—developed by the Chinese National University of Defense Technology—is powered by 186,368 Intel Xeon X5670 cores and more than 7,000 graphics processing units (GPUs) from Nvidia. It hit a maximum performance of 2.56 petaflops. It is installed at the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin, China.

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The recently upgraded system from Cray at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee had been the fastest U.S. system on the list from November 2011. The supercomputer includes Cray's hybrid CPU-GPU XK6, which includes Opteron chips from AMD and GPUs from Nvidia. The system, with a top performance of 1.9 petaflops, also includes Cray's Gemini interconnect.

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Another IBM Blue Gene/Q system, Fermi is housed at Cineca, a consortium of Italian universities and the largest supercomputing center in that country. Fermi hit a maximum performance of more than 1.72 petaflops and is powered by 163,840 Power processing cores.

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Yet another Blue Gene/Q supercomputer from IBM, JuQueen is installed at the Forschungszentrum Juelich supercomputing center in Germany. The system, with 131,072 Power processing cores, has a top performance of almost 1.4 petaflops.

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The Curie supercomputer, owned by Genci consortium and run in the TGCC supercomputer center in France by CEA, comprises Bullx systems from Bull running on Intel's Xeon E5-2680 chips. With 77,184 computing nodes, the Curie supercomputer has a top performance of almost 1.36 petaflops.

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No. 4 on the list from November 2011, Nebulae runs on Xeon X5650 processors and GPUs from Nvidia, with 120,640 processing cores and reaching a max performance of 1.27 petaflops. The supercomputer, built by Dawning, is installed at the National Supercomputing Center at Shenzhen in China.

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