Cray's Titan system takes supercomputer crown

Cray's Titan system takes supercomputer crown

Summary: Titan is a Cray XK7 system that hit 17.59 Petaflop/s on the Linpack benchmark. Titan features 560,640 processors, including 261,632 Nvidia K20x accelerator cores.


The Oak Ridge National Laboratory had the fastest supercomputer with a system called Titan, which consisted of Cray and Nvidia technology, according to the twice a year Top500 list.

Titan towers over Top500 supercomputer list (gallery)

Specifically, Titan is a Cray XK7 system that hit 17.59 Petaflop/s (quadrillions
of calculations per second) on the Linpack benchmark. Titan features 560,640 processors, including 261,632 Nvidia K20x accelerator cores.

The results will be announced at the SC12 supercomputing conference Monday. 

Titan bumped Sequoia, an IBM BlueGene/Q system, to No. 2. Sequoia is installed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and was No. 1 in June. Sequoia---16.32
Petaflop/s---has 1,572,864 cores. The rest of the top 5 included Fujitsu's K computer in Kobe, Japan, a BlueGene/Q system dubbed Mira at the Argonne National Laboratory and another BlueGene/Q system named JUQUEEN at the Forschungszentrum Juelich in Germany.

Dell also cracked the top 10 list with Stampede, a system based on PowerEdge servers and Intel's Xeon Phi processors. Stampede is installed at the University of Texas in Austin.

By geography, the U.S. had 251 of the top 500 systems with Asia having 123 systems. Europe has 105 systems. There are 72 high performance computing systems installed in China.

Among the notable details:

  • Overall, 23 systems have Petaflop/s performance. 
  • 62 systems are using Nvidia GPUs to accelerate computation. 
  • 7 are accelerated by Intel's Xeon Phi processors. 
  • 84.6 percent of systems use processors with six or more cores. 
  • Intel processors are used in 76 percent of the Top500 systems. AMD is in 12 percent of systems and IBM's Power processors have 10.6 percent of the pie. 
  • IBM has six of the top 10 systems and 32 entries in the top 100. 
  • IBM has 192 entries in the Top500 list followed by HP at 149 and Cray at 30.

Topics: Data Centers, Hardware, Processors, Servers

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  • But does it run .......?

    Nah, I won't go there. Getting too tired.

    A super computer using several PCIE expansion slots and 10 TB Fusion-io Solid State memory cards topped 62 PETAFLOPS back in June this year....Who has the crown now? HA HA!
    QA MAN
    • Not doubting you, but

      a claim like that surely deserves a link?
    • Cool I would like to read about it so I agree with D.T.Long

      can we have a link to that computer please?
  • And Garbage in, Garbage Out still holds true

    Only now we can do it faster.
    • Yes, but

      When you read about the processing or vast amounts of astronomical data and discovering possible "Goldilock" planets, and considering that weather/climate modelling is apparently still "crude", most of the stuff coming out is not garbage.

      I have to admit however, when I fist read your post, it gave me a good laugh.
  • nice paint job

    for a computer, it would have been nice to get an idea of OS's, memory, and applications.

    network backbones, and comms structure would be an interesting read..
    • Re: Paint job

      At first, I thought it was a long line of Pepsi soft drink machines. :-)

      Just asked our VP to install one of these in my office. Think I ought to hold my breath? Sure does make the old Amdahl V70 used on my dissertation look slow!
  • And the purpose is...?

    Interesting article, but I can be more of a layman at times. Thus, it would be great to know the practical application of these systems. And it would be quite interesting to hear a comparison of each systems cost per "flop"... both the initial and the life-cycle; the infrastructure support alone must keep the energy barons in high heaven. Sadly though, I would be willing to be the majority of the systems are funded by tax-dollars, so maybe they can use those super-computers to find an end of the economic crisis.
  • Hare ye Hare ye!

    Mmmmm...yes, very fast, but wait 'til you see the speed when the "1AFD" comes on line.....a true "organic" speedster with what would appear to be archaic cooling efficiency, an overlooked (was it ever!) and subsequently heretofore forgotten dazzling literally ain't seen nothin' yet. Sorry, no links yet....way too secret. Some of the older geezer techs might have a good shot at guessing it, but you young bucks(aroos) probably, sadly, don't have a clue. No more hints lest I violate the confidentiality agreement.
  • TITAN uses AMD

    CRAY TITAN uses 299,008 AMD Opteron processors to control the nVidia gpu's. Why don't you report that? You people at ZDNET are SHYTE! You only report news that is convenient to yourselves.
  • Bias against AMD

    Not only does the Titan use AMD. That small 12% makes up the majority of the top super computers. Go and read any article about the Cray Titan. They barely mention if at all AMDs major involvement. He even states " Titan features 560,640 processors, including 261,632 Nvidia K20x accelerator cores." Yet conveniently forgets to mention the other 299,008 AMD processors. This guy must be short AMD.
    Mike Rissler