China's Tianhe-2 Heads Static List of 10 Fastest Supercomputers

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China's Tianhe-2 Heads Static List of 10 Fastest Supercomputers

by Jeffrey Burt

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China Stays on Top

The Tianhe-2, housed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou, offers a performance of 33.68 petaflops. It's powered by 12-core Xeon-E5 chips from Intel, whose processors run four of the systems in the top 10.

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Titan Comes in a Distant Second

Titan, an XK7 system from Cray that is powered by Opteron chips from Advanced Micro Devices, delivered a performance of 17.59 petaflops.

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IBM Hits the List at No. 3

Sequoia, housed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is a Blue Gene/Q supercomputer from IBM that features Power chips and a performance of 17.17 petaflops. It is one of four Blue Gene/Q systems in the top 10.

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Fujitsu Makes an Appearance

Fujitsu's K Computer at the Riken Advanced Institute for Computational Science in Japan is powered by SPARC64 VIIIfx processors and delivers a performance of 10.5 petaflops.

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Mira Adds to U.S. Dominance

Mira, a Blue Gene/Q system at the Argonne National Lab, is one of five U.S. systems in the top 10, and one of 233 in the top 500. The United States still has the most supercomputers on the Top500 list, but the number is declining: In November 2013, the country had 265.

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Piz Daint and the Nvidia GPU Accelerators

The Swiss supercomputer is a Cray XC30 system that not only uses Intel Xeon E5 chips, but Nvidia's Tesla K20x GPU accelerators. On the current list, 88 systems use either Intel Xeon Phi co-processors or GPUs from Nvidia or AMD to improve performance and keep down power consumption. There were 75 systems with accelerators on the November 2014 list.

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Introducing the Shaheen II

The only new system in the top 10, the Shaheen II is a Cray XC40 powered by Xeon E5 chips and delivers a performance of 5.5 petaflops.

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Dell in the Top 10

The Stampede supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center is based on Dell's PowerEdge C8220 that uses both Intel Xeon and Xeon Phi chips and offers a performance of 5.1 petaflops.

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IBM's Blue Gene/Q Appears Again

Juqueen is the third of four Blue Gene/Q supercomputers in the top 10. Overall, IBM—with 111 systems in the top 500 (22.2 percent)—is second only to Hewlett-Packard's 178 (35.6 percent).

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Vulcan Rounds Out the Top 10

The IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputer, housed at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab, delivers a performance of 4.3 petaflops.

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Intel Launches Xeon E7 v3, OEMs Are Quick to Adopt the Chips

Intel executives this week launched the latest version of their high-end Xeon E7 server chips, monster processors that scale up to 18 cores and offer up to six times the performance of their predecessors. The 22-nanometer Xeon E7 v3 chips, built on the "Haswell" architecture, deliver up to 12TB of memory, support DDR3 and DDR4 memory, and improve security and reliability through enhanced capabilities in the company's AES-NI, AVX2 and Run Sure technologies. The new chips address the demand for greater data analytics and real-time processing, where organizations need to quickly analyze the massive amounts of data being created to make better business decisions. The Xeon E7 v3 processors, with their 5.7 billion transistors, also will give organizations more incentive to migrate their high-end workloads from Unix systems that run atop IBM's Power8 and Oracle's SPARC platforms, Intel officials...