Three Saudi supercomputers rank among world's 100 fastest

Top500 list shows three Saudi supercomputers in top 100, US takes lead in fastest computer race

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Three Saudi supercomputers rank among world's 100 fastest The TOP500 list of supercomputers sees the US retain the lead for the first time since 2012.
By  Mark Sutton Published  June 27, 2018

Saudi Arabia has three supercomputing systems that rank in the one hundred fastest supercomputers in the world.

According to the latest TOP500 list of the world's leading supercomputers, three systems from the Kingdom now rank among the best in the world, including one system at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and two at oil company Saudi Aramco.

KAUST's Shaheen II system was the top ranked system from the Middle East, ranking 29th on the list. Shaheen II, a Cray computer system, has recorded peak scores of 7,235 teraflop (Tflop/s) or 7.2 petaflops.

Aramco is home to two Dell EMC constructed supercomputers, Makman-3 and Makman-2, which ranked 78th and 80th on the list respectively. Makman-3 has peak Linpack scores of 3581.8 Tflop/s, while Makman-2 scored 3041.3 Tflop/s.

In the overall TOP500 list, a US supercomputer reclaimed the number one slot for the first time since 2012. China has dominated the race for high performance computing in recent years, but the 25th anniversary TOP500 list showed significant turnover in which four of the five top systems were either new or substantially upgraded.

The US Department of Energy's Summit system, built by IBM, has recorded scores of 122.3 petaflops performance on High Performance Linpack, and 188 petaflops peak performance. The system is expected to scale to break the ‘exascale' barrier of over 200 petaflops.

The top five list includes China's Sunway TaihuLight in second and Tianhe-2A in fourth, while the US Sierra system is third. Japan's AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure (ABCI) is number five.

Despite the ascendance of the US at the top of the rankings, the country now claims only 124 systems on the list, a new low. Just six months ago, the US had 145 systems. Meanwhile, China improved its representation to 206 total systems, compared to 202 on the last list.

Japan meanwhile claims the top three performers in the ‘Green 500' list, the rankings of the most power efficient systems in the world. The most energy-efficient supercomputer is once again the Shoubu system B, a ZettaScaler-2.2 system installed at the Advanced Center for Computing and Communication, RIKEN, Japan. The system ranks 362nd on the overall list.

The latest edition of the list confirms the ongoing trend for the use of graphics processors in supercomputing. One hundred and ten systems on the list use GPU acceleration, of which 96 use NVIDIA GPUs.

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