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Inside Japan's Top500 K Computer

The K Computer at the Riken Institute in Kobe, Japan has topped the latest edition of the biannual Top500 supercomputing list, with a benchmark performance of 8.162 petaflops
By Staff , Contributor
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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.

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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.

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Rack in the K Computer

Pictured above is a typical rack in the K Comupter.

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Diagram of K Computer

The diagram above details the inner components of the K Computer.

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Sparc6 chip

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.

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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.

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Torus topography

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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