Brazil ranks tenth on world's supercomputer list

Country ranks high in terms of quantity of supercomputers but fails to make it to the list of the ten 100 best machines, report says

Brazil is the tenth country with most supercomputers in the world, according to a reputable list of the world's most powerful machines published earlier this week.

Six supercomputers are located in Brazil, which places the country at number ten in the twice-yearly Top500 list of the world's most powerful super machines.

Out of all the Brazilian supercomputers, three are run by the National Laboratory for Scientific Computing (LNCC) in the Rio de Janeiro town of Petrópolis and one is managed by the Brazilian Institute of Space Research (Inpe). In addition, one supercomputer is run by oil giant Petrobrás and another by the Center for Integrated Manufacturing and Technology, in the northeastern capital of Salvador, in the state of Bahia.

The power of supercomputers is directly related to a country's technology-related progress. The machines are designed to perform complex simulations and applications to help scientific research in a vast range of industries, from weather forecasting to financial modeling and DNA sequencing.

Despite making it to the top 10 list in terms of quantity of such equipment, none of the Brazilian machines has made it to the top 100 best supercomputers.

The best Brazilian supercomputer, currently ranked 476th and run by LNCC, is Santos Dumont GPU. The supercomputer is part of a cluster composed of three systems, Santos Dumont CPU, Santos Dumont GPU and Santos Dumont Hybrid. With a total processing capacity of 1,1 petaflops (Santos Dumont GPU alone can execute 456 teraflops/calculations per second), the cluster is currently the most powerful supercomputer resource in Latin America.

In contrast, China has increased its number of supercomputers by almost threefold with 109 high-performance computing systems, the most powerful being Tianhe-2, a machine capable of performing 33.86 quadrillion calculations a second.