Inside Japan's Top500 K Computer
Japan's K Computer took over first place as the top-performing supercomputer in the world on Monday, as determined by the Top500 Supercomputing List.
The K Computer, which is housed at the Riken Advanced Institute for Computational Science in Kobe, has 672 computer racks and 68,544 CPUs. This system achieved a Linpack benchmark performance of 8.162 petaflops (quadrillion floating-point operations per second).
But this supercomputer isn't even finished. That should happen in November 2012, when it is expected to house more than 800 computer racks and exceed 10 petaflops.
K Computer, Riken
The K Comptuer's performance of 8.162 petaflops was more than three times higher than the second-place and former title-holder, the Tianhe-1A at the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin, China, which achieved 2.566 petaflops.
Rack in the K Computer
Pictured above is a typical rack in the K Comupter.
Diagram of K Computer
The diagram above details the inner components of the K Computer.
The K computer uses a Sparc6 VIIIfx CPU designed and developed by Fujitsu using 45 nanometer process technology. 80,000 of these chips are expected to be housed in the completed project.
I/O system boards
Six I/O system boards are installed in each rack. Each board contains four Sparc64 VIIIfx CPUs with eight cores integrated into each chip. The board delivers a performance to power ratio of 2.2 gigaflops per watt.
The six-dimensional mesh/torus topography is described by Fujitsu: "The design of the six-dimensional mesh/torus topology in the K computer means there are many communication routes between neighbouring CPUs. This enables the execution of data communications between CPUs via the shortest route and over the shortest period of time and ensures the network can fully draw out this world top-class CPU computational power."
This story originally appeared as Gallery: Inside Japan's K Computer — world's top supercomputer on ZDNet.com.
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