Japan K computer tops supercomputing list

Top ten supercomputers worldwide stay the same, K breaks 10 petaflop mark

Tags: Fujitsu EuropeIBM (www.ibm.com)Intel Corporation
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Japan K computer tops supercomputing list The K system, at Japan's RIKEN research lab, is the only system to have passed the 10 petaflops per second barrier.
By  Mark Sutton Published  November 15, 2011

Fujitsu continues to head the list of top performing supercomputers in the world, according to the latest TOP500 List.

The K Computer system, built by Fujitsu for Japan's RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS) research lab is the leading system on the list, and the only system to have hit the 10 petaflops mark, equivalent to 10 quadrillion calculations per second.

The ranking, which is based on the Linpack Fortran benchmark test, shows no change in the top ten supercomputing systems worldwide, with Japan, China, the USA and France leading the way.

The K Computer system, which is based on Fujitsu's eight-core Sparc64-VIIIfx processor, is four times as powerful as its nearest competitor The system has recorded a sustained 10.51 Petaflop/s on the Linpack benchmark, using its full capacity of 705,024 SPARC64 processing cores in 864 racks.

The K system is also one of the most energy efficient systems on the list, using 12.66 MW of power, at 830 Mflops/watt versus the list average power efficiency of 464 Mflops/watt. The system also does not rely on graphics processors or other accelerators, unlike many competing systems.

The second placed Chinese Tianhe-1A system recorded a 2.57 Petaflop/s performance, and China is now the second largest user of super computing, behind the US, in the world, accounting for 75 systems on the list. China and Japan both had two systems in the top ten, the US five, and France one.

The top ten systems on the list are also the only systems to have broken the Petaflop barrier, with IBM's Roadrunner, the first system to have recorded the achievement in June 2008, now ranked 10th.

Overall, Intel has the largest share of processors used in the listed systems, accounting for 76.8% of the Top 500, while IBM is leads Fujitsu and Cray in terms of total performance. The entry level for inclusion on the list moved up to 50.9 Teraflop/s on the Linpack benchmark, compared to 39.1 Teraflop/s six months ago.

Three systems in the Middle East placed on the list, all of them in Saudi Arabia. KAUST's IBM Based Shaheen Blue Gene P system was fifty-third, with 190.9 Teraflops/s sustained performance, 222.8 peak performance. Saudi Aramco has two systems in the list, an HP cluster running at 63.4 teraflops/s sustained, ranked three hundred and fourth, and a Dell/Cluster Vision cluster running at 63.1 teraflops/s sustained, ranked on place behind.

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