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93 Petaflop Chinese Supercomputer is World’s Fastest on Latest TOP500 List

Top500A new machine called Sunway TaihuLight in China is the fastest supercomputer on the planet. Announced today with the release of the latest TOP500 list, the 93 Petaflop machine sports over 10.6 Million compute cores.

China maintained its Number 1 ranking on the 47th edition of the TOP500 list of the world’s top supercomputers, but with a new system built entirely using processors designed and made in China. Sunway TaihuLight is the new No. 1 system with 93 petaflop/s ( quadrillions of calculations per second) o n the LINPACK benchmark.

Developed by the National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology (NRCPC) and installed at the Nationa Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, Sunway TaihuLight displaces Tianhe­2, an Intel-­based Chinese supercomputer that has claimed the No. 1 spot on the past six TOP500 lists.

Want to learn more? Listen to our Radio Free HPC podcast with a deep dive on Sunway TaihuLight.

top500

The newest edition of the TOP500 list was announced Monday, June 20, at ISC 2016 in Frankfurt. The closely watched list is issued twice a year.

Sunway TaihuLight, with 10,649,600 computing cores comprising 40,960 nodes, is twice as fast and three times as efficient as Tianhe­2, which posted a LINPACK performance of 33.86 petaflop/s. The peak power consumption under load (running the HPL benchmark) is at 15.37 MW, or 6 Gflops/Watt. This allows the TaihuLight system to grab one of the top spots on the Green500 in terms of the Performance/Power metric. Titan, a Cray XK7 system installed at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is now the No. 3 system. It achieved 17.59 petaflop/s.

Sunway in Wuxi, China

The Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer in Wuxi, China

Rounding out the Top 10 are Sequoia, an IBM BlueGene/Q system installed at DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Fujitsu’s K computer installed at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS) in Kobe, Japan; Mira, a BlueGene/Q system installed at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory; Trinity, a Cray X40 system installed at DOE/NNSA/LANL/SNL; Piz Daint, a Cray XC30 system installed at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre and the most powerful system in Europe; Hazel Hen, a Cray XC40 system installed at HLRS in Stuttgart, Germany; and Shaheen II, a Cray XC40 system installed at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia is at No. 10.

The latest list marks the first time since the inception of the TOP500 that the U.S is not home to the largest number of systems. With a surge in industrial and research installations registered over the last few years, China leads with 167 systems and the U.S. is second with 165. China also leads the performance category, thanks to the No. 1 and No. 2 systems.

The European share of 105 systems (compared to 107 in November 2015) has fallen and is now lower than the dominant Asian share of 218 systems, up from 173 in November. Germany is the clear leader in Europe with 26 systems followed by France with 18 and the UK with 12 systems. In Asia, Japan trails China with 29 systems (down from 37).

Cray continues to be the clear leader in the TOP500 list in total installed performance share with 19.9 percent (down from 25 percent). Thanks to the Sunway TaihuLight system, the National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology takes the second spot with 16.4 percent of the total performance – with just one machine.

IBM takes the third spot with 10.7 percent share, down from 14.9 percent six months ago. HPC is third with 12.9 percent, down from 14.2 percent six months ago.

For the first time, the data collection and curation of the Green500 project is now integrated with the TOP500 project. The most energy­efficient system and No. 1 on the Green500 is Shoubu, a PEZY Computing/Exascaler ZettaScaler­1.6 System achieving 6.67 GFfops/Watt at the Advanced Center for Computing and Communication at RIKEN in Japan.

Additional Highlights

  • Total combined performance of all 500 systems has grown to 566.7 petaflop/s, compared to 420 petaflop/s six months ago and 363 petaflop/s one year ago. This increase in installed performance also exhibits a noticeable slowdown in growth compared to the previous long­term trend.
  • There are 95 systems with performance greater than a petaflop/s on the list, up from 81 six months ago.
  • Intel continues to provide the processors for the largest share – 455 systems or 91 percent – of the TOP500 systems. The share of IBM Power processors is now at 23 systems, down from 26 systems six month ago. The AMD Opteron family is used in 13 systems (2.6 percent), down from 4.2 percent on the previous list.
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise has the lead in the total number of systems with 127 systems (25.4 percent) followed by Lenovo with 84 systems. Cray now has 60 systems, down from 69 systems six months ago. HPE had 155 systems six months ago. IBM is now fifth in the systems category with 38 systems.
  • A total of 93 systems on the list are using accelerator/coprocessor technology, down from 104 in November 2015. Sixty­seven of these use NVIDIA chips, 26 systems with Intel Xeon Phi technology, three use ATI Radeon, and two use PEZY technology. Three systems use a combination of NVIDIA and Intel Xeon Phi accelerators/coprocessors.The average number of accelerator cores for these systems is 76,000 cores per system.
  • The entry level (No. 500) to the list moved up to the 285.9 teraflop/s mark on the LINPACK benchmark, compared to 206.3 teraflop/s six months ago. The last system on the newest list would have been listed at position 351 in the previous TOP500.
  • The performance of the last system on the list (No. 500) has systematically continued to lag behind historical trends for the last 6 years and now clearly continues to run on a different growth trajectory than before. From 1994 to 2008 it grew by 90 percent per year, but since 2008 it has only grown by 55 percent per year.

About the TOP500 List

The first version of what became today’s TOP500 list started as an exercise for a small conference in Germany in June 1993. Out of curiosity, the authors decided to revisit the list in November 1993 to see how things had changed. About that time they realized they might be onto something and decided to continue compiling the list, which is now a much­anticipated, much­watched and much­debated twice­yearly event.

The TOP500 list is compiled by Erich Strohmaier and Horst Simon of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; and Martin Meuer of ISC Group, Germany.

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