NEC SX-9 and the HPC Challenge: A Fairy Tale Story

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NEC’s SX-9 supercomputer put into operation at Tohoku University’s Cyber Science Center back in April, has achieved the world’s fastest [normalized] standing in the High Performance Computing Challenge benchmark.  The machine scored top marks on 19 of the 28 areas of the test.

The HPC Challenge was created by team of HPC heavyweights from the US, Japan and Germany.  Most notably, Dr. Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee heads up the team.  The benchmark suite includes 28 different areas of measurement.  Included in the suite is the Linpack benchmark as well as various tests of memory, network and application performance.  From the release:

The results released today reflect testing carried out by HPC Challenge Benchmark programs on NEC’s SX-9 supercomputer. Among the 28 areas evaluated, the SX-9 recorded world leading marks in the following: 8 areas of memory bandwidth (STREAM) both for a single CPU and in a parallel environment; 5 areas of inter-process data transfer rate (Bandwidth); 2 areas of processing performance in matrix-matrix multiply (DGEMM), 2 areas of FFT and 2 areas for random memory access for a single CPU in a parallel environment.

Regardless of the results, you will not see this reflected on the Top500 list.  As stated before, Linpack is only a subset of the tests.  One could only assume they would submit the complementary results as well.  Following the lead of SiCortex, I’m curious what the relative GCPI [Green Computing Performance Index] is for this machine?

For more info on the benchmark results, read the full release here.