Top 10 supercomputers hold position: Intel, IBM, Nvidia shine

Top 10 supercomputers hold position: Intel, IBM, Nvidia shine

Summary: Japan's K Computer remained the most powerful supercomputer due to a build out that makes its four times more powerful than its nearest rival.

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TOPICS: Intel, IBM, Processors
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Japan's K Computer remained the fastest supercomputer on the planet, but perhaps the biggest takeaway and is that it is also the most energy efficient.

The Top500 list---compiled by Hans Meuer of the University of Mannheim, Germany; Erich Strohmaier and Horst Simon of NERSC/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee---tracks the pecking order of supercomputers. The high-performance computing market isn't a massive revenue generator, but chipmakers use these high-profile wins to bolster enterprise cred. After all, if a chip is good enough to model weather patterns it's probably good enough for your data center.

According to the Top500, Japan's K Computer remained the most powerful supercomputer due to a build out that makes its four times more powerful than its nearest rival. Japan's K Computer hits 10.51 petaflops a second. It uses 705,024 SPARC64 processing cores and is the first to break the 10 quadrillion calculations per second mark.

In June, the K Computer was also No. 1, but it wasn't fully built out. The K Computer doesn’t use graphics processors or accelerators.

No. 2 remained the Chinese Tianhe-1A system with 2.57 Petaflop/s. In fact, the top 10 supercomputers maintained position (right).

Among the key items to note:

  • 29 systems on the list use more than 1 megawatt of power. The K Computer consumes 12.66 MW, but is the most efficient with 830 Mflops/watt.
  • The most energy efficient system is the BlueGene/Q with 2,029 Mflops/watt.
  • China has 75 systems in the top 500 list and is No. 2 to the U.S.
  • Nvidia GPUs are being used in the No. 2 and No. 4 Chinese systems as well as the Japanese Tsubame 2.0 system at No. 5.
  • 39 systems use GPUs, up from 17 six months ago. Of those GPU systems, 35 of them use Nvidia.
  • Intel has the largest share of top 500 systems with 76.8 percent of the market, down from 77.2 percent six months ago. AMD's share of the top 500 systems is 12.6 percent (63 systems down from 66 six months ago).
  • IBM Power processors power 49 systems in the top 500 list.
  • IBM has 223 systems in the list good for 44.6 percent of the market. HP has 28 percent, or 140 systems.

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Topics: Intel, IBM, Processors

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8 comments
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  • RE: Top 10 supercomputers hold position: Intel, IBM, Nvidia shine

    Wintel?
    Return_of_the_jedi
  • RE: Top 10 supercomputers hold position: Intel, IBM, Nvidia shine

    http://url188.com/1065
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  • The numbers and percentages sound confusing...

    IBM has 223 systems in the (top 500?) list? That's equivalent to 44.6% of the market. <br><br>Meanwhile, Intel has 76.8% of the market?<br><br>That brings the total percentage to: 134%.<br><br>Perhaps a better explanation of the breakdown is included in the original site? <br><br>CPUs/Vendors/Owners would have been a better breakdown for the lists and reports and the blog above.
    adornoe
    • RE: Top 10 supercomputers hold position: Intel, IBM, Nvidia shine

      @adornoe@... http://www.top500.org/static/lists/2011/11/TOP500_201111.xls

      You're mixing statistics, vendor/integrator (e.g. IBM), and CPU (e.g. Intel) ...

      Agreed it's confusing to have a bulleted list of statistics out of context.
      daboochmeister
  • And of course, for OS, they all run ...

    ... Linux. (Actually, the top 50+ do, with a couple also mixing in a proprietary BSD based solution for a part of the system). Surprising that even the Riken K computer, which uses Sparc CPUs, uses Linux.
    daboochmeister
    • RE: Top 10 supercomputers hold position: Intel, IBM, Nvidia shine

      @daboochmeister

      Not really. Linux runs on more architectures than any other operating system.
      jessepollard
  • RE: Top 10 supercomputers hold position: Intel, IBM, Nvidia shine

    "In June, the K Computer was also No. 1, but it wasn???t fully built out. The K Computer doesn???t use graphics processors or accelerators." of course, it does have "accelerator" instructions built into the chip (VIS, HPC-ACE).
    khbkhb