New TOP500 List is Full of Surprises

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The new TOP500 list is out with a new world leader and more than a few surprises. Coming in at #1 is the newly built Titan Cray XK7 supercomputer at Oak Ridge with 17.59 Petaflops on the Linpack benchmark. As a hybrid system, Titan is powered by 299,008 AMD Opteron cores and 18,688 Tesla K20X GPUs.

The Sequoia supercomputer at Lawrence Livermore National Labs falls into second place with 16.32 Petaflops and Fujitsu’s K computer round out the Top 3. IBM BlueGene/Q powers the next two entries with the Argonne’s Mira coming in at #4 and the newly upgraded JUQUEEN at Germany’s Juelich becomes #5 as the most powerful system in Europe.

Surprise #1: The Intel Xeon Phi co-processor makes its debut in the Top10 with TACC’s Stampede supercomputer from Dell with 2.6 Petaflop/s.
Surprise #2: The highly anticipated Blue Waters supercomputer is not on the list. NCSA did not submit.

Here are some highlights from the list.

  • 23 Petaflop systems total
  • The U.S. is the leader with 251 system on the list with Europe coming in with 105 systems and China with 72
  • 62 systems are accelerated by Nvidia GPUs
  • 7 systems are accelerated by Intel’s Xeon Phi processors
  • 226 systems use Infiniband and 188 use Gig Ethernet
  • Intel processors are used in 76 percent of the Top500 systems, with AMD at 12 percent and IBM’s Power processors at 10.6 percent
  • IBM has six of the top 10 systems and 192 total entries, followed by HP with 149 and Cray with 30

We’ll be hearing a lot about the TOP500 this week as there are a million ways to spin this thing. Read the Full Story.


  1. As to surprise #2, Bill Kramer posted a blog post today explaining why Blue Waters is not on this list and will not appear on any future list.

  2. Further commentary on surprise #2 – So for the record, I am no fan of LINPACK as a sole measure. However, Kramer’s post ONLY has merit if NCSA no longer EVER submits to the top500 for any machine. The next submission from them to the list means that something is fishy.

    I personally have no desire to use DOD Mod or NERSC benchmarks – HPCC is the only one that I have a desire to see expand.