China's Massive Sunway TaihuLight Dominates List of Supercomputers

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China's Massive Sunway TaihuLight Dominates List of Supercomputers

China toppled the United States from its position atop the global supercomputing world. Here's a look at the top 10 fastest systems.

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The Beast That Is Sunway TaihuLight

The newest system in the top spot delivers 93 petaflops/second (quadrillions of calculations per second) of performance and is more than twice as fast and three times as efficient as the Tianhe-2 supercomputer it replaced as No. 1. It uses 40,960 Chinese-developed Sunway SW26010 chips and holds more than 10.6 million cores.

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The Reign of Tianhe-2 Is Over

The system at the National Supercomputer Center in China was No. 1 for six consecutive lists, before Sunway TaihuLight came along. Tianhe-2 is powered by Intel's Xeon E5-2692 processors, Xeon Phi coprocessors and more than 3.1 million cores, and provides 33.86 petaflops of performance.

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Titan Stands Tall at No. 3

The fastest system on the list is Titan, a Cray supercomputer running Opteron processors from Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia GPU accelerators. It delivers more than 17 petaflops of performance. It's housed at the Oak Ridge National Lab.

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IBM's Fastest Is Sequoia

The Blue Gene/Q supercomputer, housed at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab and running on Big Blue's Power chips, is powered by more than 1.5 million cores and delivers 17.1 petaflops.

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K Computer Still on the List, as Its Successor Makes News

The system at the Riken facility in Japan, once the most powerful of its kind, remains among the top five at 10 petaflops. Fujitsu officials at the show made news when they said that the next system—dubbed "Post-K"—will run on ARM-based processors rather than the SPARC64 architecture that powers the K computer.

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Mira Marks IBM's Second System in Top 10

The BlueGene/Q supercomputer, at the Argonne National Lab, provides more than 8.5 petaflops of performance. In all, IBM has 38 systems on the Top500 list, making it number five among vendors.

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Cray and Its Trinity

The supercomputer, based on Cray's Intel-powered XC40 system, brings 8.1 petaflops of performance to the Los Alamos National Lab. Cray has 60 systems on the Top500 list, with five in the top 10.

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Piz Daint Includes GPU Accelerators

The Cray-based system at the Swiss National Computing Centre runs on Intel's Xeon E5-2670 chips and Nvidia's K20x GPU accelerator. Ninety-three supercomputers on the list use GPU or coprocessor accelerators to improve performance while keeping power consumption down.

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Hazel Hen Runs on Intel Processors

The supercomputer at the High Performance Computing Center in Germany is based on Cray's XC40 systems running Intel's Xeon E5-2680 v3 processors. Ninety-one percent of the supercomputers on the list—or 455—are powered by Intel processors.

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Shaheen II Is the Fastest in the Middle East

Shaheen II, which uses Cray's XC40 systems and Xeon E5-2698 v3 processors, puts the Middle East into the top 10, at 5.5 petaflops of performance.

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Intel Launches Latest High-End Xeon E7 Chips, and Server OEMs Sign On

Intel this week rolled out the latest generation of its Xeon E7 server processors, unveiling a family of 14nm chips with more cores per chip (up to 24, rather than 18), instruction threads (48 from 36) and more last-level cache (60MB from 45MB) than its predecessor. Officials said the new "Broadwell-EX" 8800/4800 chips offer as much as 1.3 times the scaling of the previous Xeon E7 chips, twice the memory support—up to 24TB—and twice as many analytics queries as the previous version. The chips are targeted at scale-up environments, with an eye on making it easier, faster and more affordable for enterprises to collect and analyze in real time the massive amounts of structured and unstructured data being generated. "The Xeon E7-8800/4800 v4 families are arriving at market just as wider demand for advanced analytics systems and solutions is beginning to ramp," Charles King, principal analyst...
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