Japanese supercomputer is still world's most powerful

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Japan’s K Computer has hung onto its position as the world's nmost powerful supercomputer, thanks to a full build-out that makes it four times as powerful as its nearest competitor.

Installed at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS) in Kobe, Japan, the K Computer achieved 10.51 Petaflop/s on the Linpack benchmark using 705,024 SPARC64 processing cores.

It's the first supercomputer to achieve a performance level of 10 Petaflop/s, or 10 quadrillion calculations per second. It first took the number one position in June this year,  with a performance of 8.16 Petaflop/s.

Unlike many other recent systems, it doesn't use graphics processors or other accelerators.

Still in second place is the Chinese Tianhe-1A system, with 2.57 Petaflop/s performance - in fact, the entire top 10 remains unchanged since June.

"This is the first time since we began publishing the list back in 1993 that the top 10 systems showed no turnover," says TOP500 editor Erich Strohmaier, who will lead the discussion at SC11.

The largest US system is a Cray XT5 system called Jaguar,installed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, with a 1.75 Petaflop/s performance.
Other top US systems include Cielo, a Cray XE6 at Los Alamos National Laboratory, in sixth position; Pleiades, an SGI Altix machine at NASA’s Ames Research Center at number 7; and Hopper, a Cray XE6 at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at number 8.

China keeps increasing its number of systems, says the report's compilers, with 75. It's no clearly the number 2 country after the US, ahead of Japan, the UK, France, and Germany.

Intel provides the processors for 76.8 percent of the TOP500 systems.