Chinese system tops supercomputing list

HPC system running homegrown processors is fastest in world, Saudi's KAUST ranks tenth

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Chinese system tops supercomputing list China's Sunway TaihuLight system is now the fastest supercomputer in the world.
By  Mark Sutton Published  June 21, 2016

A new supercomputer built entirely with processors designed and made in China has topped the latest TOP500 list of the world's fastest high performance computing systems.

The Sunway TaihuLight, which was developed by China's National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology (NRCPC) for use in manufacturing, weather and other big data analytics tasks, is now the fastest system in the world with a score of 93 petaflop/s (quadrillions of calculations per second) on the LINPACK benchmark.

The new system is twice as fast and three times as efficient as the previous leader, the Tianhe-2, which posted a LINPACK performance of 33.86 petaflop/s. The system is deployed at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi.

The second highest performing system on the list is China's Tianhe-2 system, followed by the US Department of Energy's Titan system.

From the Middle East, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) ranks tenth in the world with its Cray XC40 system. The KAUST Shaheen II system recorded a peak performance score of 5.53 Petaflops.

The latest list marks the first time since the inception of the TOP500 that the U.S is not home to the largest number of systems. With a surge in industrial and research installations registered over the last few years, China leads with 167 systems and the U.S. is second with 165. China also leads the performance category, thanks to the No. 1 and No. 2 systems.

The European share of 105 systems (compared to 107 in November 2015) has fallen and is now lower than the dominant Asian share of 218 systems, up from 173 in November. Germany is the clear leader in Europe with 26 systems followed by France with 18 and the UK with 12 systems. In Asia, Japan trails China with 29 systems (down from 37).  

Cray continues to be the clear leader in the TOP500 list in total installed performance share with 19.9% (down from 25%). Thanks to the Sunway TaihuLight system, the National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology takes the second spot with 16.4% of the total performance - with just one machine. IBM takes the third spot with 10.7% share, down from 14.9% six months ago. HPE is third with 12.9%, down from 14.2% six months ago.

For the first time, the data collection and curation of the Green500 project is now integrated with the TOP500 project. The most energy-efficient system and No. 1 on the Green500 is Shoubu, a PEZY Computing/Exascaler ZettaScaler-1.6 System achieving 6.67 GFfops/Watt at the Advanced Center for Computing and Communication at RIKEN in Japan.

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