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Radio Free HPC Runs Down the Latest TOP500


 
In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at the latest TOP500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers. It’s Day 1 here at the ISC 2017 conference, and we’ll be keeping you posted on all the news as the show goes June 18-22 in Frankfurt, Germany.

In the latest rankings, the Sunway TaihuLight, a system developed by China’s National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology (NRCPC) and installed at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, maintains its top position. With a Linpack performance of 93 petaflops, TaihuLight is far and away the most powerful number-cruncher on the planet.

Tianhe-2, (Milky Way-2), a system developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) and deployed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzho, China, occupies the number two position with a Linpack mark of 33.9 petaflops. Tianhe-2 was the number one system in the TOP500 list for three consecutive years, until TaihuLight eclipsed it in June 2016.

The new number three supercomputer is the upgraded Piz Daint, a Cray XC50 system installed at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS). The upgrade was accomplished with additional NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPUs, doubling the Linpack performance of the system’s previous mark of 9.8 petaflops in November 2016, which itself was the result of a significant upgrade. Piz Daint’s current Linpack result of 19.6 petaflops enabled the system to climb five positions in the rankings.

As a result of the Piz Daint upgrade, Titan, a Cray XK7 system installed at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory, drops to number four in the rankings. Its Linpack mark of 17.6 petaflops has remained constant since it was installed in 2012.

Rounding out the top 10 are:

  • Sequoia (17.2 petaflops), an IBM BlueGene/Q system installed at the DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, at number five
  • Cori (14.0 petaflops), a Cray XC40 system housed at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), at number six
  • Oakforest-PACS (13.6 petaflops), a Fujitsu PRIMERGY system running at Japan’s Joint Center for Advanced High Performance Computing, at number seven; Fujitsu’s K computer (10.5 petaflops), installed at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS), at number eight;
  • Mira (8,6 petaflops), an IBM BlueGene/Q system installed at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory, at number nine; and
  • Trinity (8.1 petaflops), a Cray XC40 system running at Los Alamos National Laboratory, at number ten.
  • The big takeaway: With the two Chinese supercomputers and one Swiss system occupying the top of the rankings, this is the second time in the 24-year history of the TOP500 list that the United States has failed to secure any of the top three positions. The only other time this occurred was in November 1996, when three Japanese systems captured the top three spots.

After that, we do our Catch of the Week:

  • Student Cluster Competition Update: The student team from NUDT in China has Visa troubles, so they will not be able to participate this week in Frankfurt. That reduces the field to 11 international teams.
  • What’s up with the Aurora supercomputer that was supposed to come to Argonne next year? Rich has the scoop.

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