World’s Fastest Supercomputers Look Familiar on November TOP500 List

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Today marked the release of the 54th edition of the TOP500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers. In summary, the top of the list remains largely unchanged. In fact, the top 10 systems are unchanged from the previous list.

The latest TOP500 list saw China and the US maintaining their dominance of the list, albeit in different categories. Meanwhile, the aggregate performance of the 500 systems, based on the High Performance Linpack (HPL) benchmark, continues to rise and now sits at 1.66 exaflops. The entry level to the list has risen to 1.14 petaflops, up from 1.02 petaflops in the previous list in June 2019.

A Few Surprises:

While at first glance there would seem to be not much new here, there were a few surprises:

  • A new ARM-based system from Fujitsu in Japan debuted at #160 on the list. As precursor to RIKEN’s pending Fugaku supercomputer, the new system is powered by 36,864 A64FX cores to achieve 2.0 Petaflops in the Linpack benchmark. This machine is also #1 on the new Green500 list.
  • InfiniBand interconnects grew approximately 12 percent from the previous list. Mellanox is enjoying rapid adoption of their latest HDR InfiniBand, which debuted on the list just six months ago.

Highlights of the Top 10:

  • Summit and Sierra remain in the top two spots. Both are IBM-built supercomputers employing Power9 CPUs and NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs. Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Summit system holds top honors with an HPL result of 148.6 petaflops. The second-ranked Sierra system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory comes in at 94.6 petaflops.
  • Close behind at number three is the Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer, with an HPL mark of 93.0 petaflops. TaihuLight was developed by China’s National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology (NRCPC) and is installed at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi. It is powered exclusively by Sunway’s SW26010 processors.
  • Tianhe-2A (Milky Way-2A), a system developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) and deployed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou, China, holds the number four spot with 61.4 petaflops. It is powered by Intel Xeon CPUs and Matrix-2000 accelerators.
  • Frontera, a Dell C6420 system, keeps it number five ranking, with an HPL result of 23.5 petaflops. Powered solely by Xeon Platinum processors, it was installed at the Texas Advanced Computing Center of the University of Texas in 2018.
  • At number six is Piz Daint, a Cray XC50 supercomputer installed at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) in Lugano, Switzerland. At 21.2 petaflops, it remains the most powerful system in Europe.
  • Trinity, a Cray XC40 system operated by Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories is ranked number seven, with an HPL performance of 20.2 petaflops. It is powered by Intel Xeon and Xeon Phi processors.
  • Listed at number eight is the AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure (ABCI), installed at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). The Fujitsu-built system is equipped with Intel Xeon Gold processors and NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs, achieving an HPL result of 19.9 petaflops.
  • SuperMUC-NG is in the number nine position with 19.5 petaflops. It’s installed at the Leibniz-Rechenzentrum (Leibniz Supercomputing Centre) in Garching, near Munich. The Lenovo-built machine is powered by Intel Platinum Xeon processors.
  • The Lassen supercomputer is ranked number 10, delivering 18.2 petaflops. Installed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lassen is the unclassified counterpart to the classified Sierra system and shares the same IBM Power9/NVIDIA V100 GPU architecture.
  • The most powerful new supercomputer on the list is AiMOS, which shows up at position 25, turning in an HPL result of 8.0 petaflops. The IBM-built system is installed at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Center for Computational Innovations (CCI), and like Summit, Sierra, and Lassen, it is equipped with Power9 CPUs and NVIDIA V100 GPUs.

The one surp

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