Top Ten Supercomputers

Top Ten Supercomputers

  1. Tianhe-2 (Milky Way)
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    Tianhe-2 is a 33.86 petaflop supercomputer located in Guangzhou, China. It is currently the world’s fastest supercomputer according to the TOP500 list for June 2013. The development of Tianhe-2 was sponsored by the 863 High Technology Program, initiated by the Chinese Government, the government of Guangdong province, and the government of Guangzhou city. It was built by China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) in collaboration with the Chinese IT firm Inspur. Inspur manufactured the printed circuit boards and helped with the installation and testing of the system software. It is expected to reach its full computing capabilities by the end of 2013. In June 2013, Tianhe-2 topped the TOP500 list of fastest supercomputers in the world. The computer beat out second place finisher Titan by nearly a 2-to-1 margin. Titan, which is housed at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, achieved 17.59 petaflops, while Tianhe-2 achieved 33.86 petaflops. Tianhe-2’s phenomenal performance returned the title of the world’s fastest supercomputer to China after Tianhe-I’s debut in November 2010. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers said Tianhe-2’s win “symbolizes China’s unflinching commitment to the supercomputing arms race.” China houses 66 of the top 500 supercomputers, 2nd only to the US’ 252 systems.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tianhe-2,
  2. Titan
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    Titan is a supercomputer built by Cray at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for use in a variety of science projects. Titan is an upgrade of Jaguar, a previous supercomputer at Oak Ridge that uses graphics processing units (GPUs) in addition to conventional central processing units (CPUs). It is the first such hybrid to perform over 10 petaFLOPS. The initial cost of the upgrade was US$60 million, funded primarily by the US Department of Energy. Titan employs AMD Opteron CPUs in conjunction with Nvidia Tesla GPUs to improve energy efficiency while providing an order of magnitude increase in computational power over Jaguar. It uses 18,688 CPUs paired with an equal number of GPUs to perform at a theoretical peak of 27 petaFLOPS; in the LINPACK benchmark used to rank supercomputers’ speed, it performed at 17.59 petaFLOPS. This was enough to take first place in the November 2012 list by the TOP500 organization, but Tianhe-2 overtook it on the June 2013 list. Titan is available for any scientific purpose; access depends on the importance of the project and its potential to exploit the hybrid architecture. Any selected code must also be executable on other supercomputers to avoid sole dependence on Titan. Six vanguard codes were the first selected. They dealt mostly with molecular scale physics or climate models, while 25 others queued behind them. The inclusion of GPUs compelled authors to alter their codes. The modifications typically increased the degree of parallelism, given that GPUs offer many more simultaneous threads than CPUs. The changes often yield greater performance even on CPU-only machines.
    Links: Top Ten Laboratories, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titan_(supercomputer),
  3. Sequoia
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    IBM Sequoia is a petascale Blue Gene/Q supercomputer constructed by IBM for the National Nuclear Security Administration as part of the Advanced Simulation and Computing Program (ASC). It was delivered to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in 2011 and was fully deployed in June 2012. On 14 June 2012, the TOP500 Project Committee announced that Sequoia replaced the K computer as the world’s fastest supercomputer, with a LINPACK performance of 16.32 petaflops, 55% faster than the K computer’s 10.51 petaflops, having 123% more cores than the K computer’s 705,024 cores. Sequoia is also more energy efficient, as it consumes 7.9 MW, 37% less than the K computer’s 12.6 MW. As of 17 June 2013, Sequoia had dropped to #3 on the TOP500 ranking, behind Tianhe-2 and Titan. Record-breaking science applications have been run on Sequoia, the first to cross 10 petaflops of sustained performance. The cosmology simulation framework HACC achieved almost 14 petaflops with a 3.6 trillion particle benchmark run, while the Cardioid code, which models the electrophysiology of the human heart, achieved nearly 12 petaflops with a near real-time simulation. The entire supercomputer runs on Linux, with CNK running on over 98,000 nodes, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux running on 768 I/O nodes that are connected to the filesystem.
    Links: Top Ten Laboratories, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Sequoiahttp://www.top500.org/,
  4. K Computer
    1Workers install the "K Computer" superco2643
    The K computer, named for the Japanese word “kei,” meaning 10 quadrillion (1016), is a supercomputer manufactured by Fujitsu, currently installed at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science campus in Kobe, Japan. The K computer is based on a distributed memory architecture with over 80,000 computer nodes. It is used for a variety of applications, including climate research, disaster prevention and medical research. The K computer’s operating system is based on the Linux kernel, with additional drivers designed to make use of the computer’s hardware. In June 2011, TOP500 ranked K the world’s fastest supercomputer, with a computation speed of over 8 petaflops, and in November 2011, K became the first computer to top 10 petaflops. It had originally been slated for completion in June 2012. In June 2012, K was superseded as the world’s fastest supercomputer by the American IBM Sequoia; as of 2013, K is the world’s 4th fastest computer.
    Links: Top Ten Laboratories, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K_computer,
  5. IBM Mira
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    Mira is a petascale Blue Gene/Q supercomputer. As of June 2013, it is listed on TOP500 as the fifth-fastest supercomputer in the world. It has a performance of 8.16 petaflops and consumes 3.9 MW in power. The supercomputer was constructed by IBM for Argonne National Laboratory’s Argonne Leadership Computing Facility with the support of the US Department of Energy, and partially funded by the National Science Foundation. Mira will be used for scientific research, including studies in the fields of material science, climatology, seismology, and computational chemistry. The supercomputer is being utilized initially for 16 projects, selected by the Department of Energy. The Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, which commissioned the supercomputer, was established by the America COMPETES Act, signed by President Bush in 2007, and President Obama in 2011. The US’ emphasis on supercomputing has been seen as a response to China’s progress in the field. China’s Tianhe-2 is ranked as the most powerful supercomputer in the world. Mira is, along with IBM Sequoia and the upcoming Blue Waters, one of three American petascale supercomputers deployed in 2012. The cost for building Mira has not been released by IBM. Early reports estimated that construction would cost US$50 million, and Argonne National Laboratory announced that Mira was bought using money from a grant of US$180 million. In a press release, IBM marketed the supercomputer’s speed, claiming that “if every man, woman and child in the US performed one calculation each second, it would take them almost a year to do as many calculations as Mira will do in one second.”
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mira_(supercomputer),
  6. Stampede
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    Stampede, a supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, which is a research center for advanced computational science, engineering and technology. On January 7, 2013, TACC’s new cluster, “Stampede,” went into production. Stampede comprised 6400 nodes, 102400 cpu cores, 205 TB total memory, 14 PB total and 1.6 PB local storage. The bulk of the cluster consisted of 160 racks of primary compute nodes, each with dual Xeon E5-2680 8-core processors, Xeon Phi coprocessor, and 32 GB ram. The cluster also contained 16 nodes with 32 cores and 1 TB ram each, 128 “standard” compute nodes with Nvidia Kepler K20 GPUs, and other nodes for I/O (to a Lustre filesystem), login, and cluster management. Stampede was the 7th fastest supercomputer on the November 2012 Top500 list, which reported the system as having twice as many cores (204900), likely due to counting of hyperthreading cores. In the November 2012 Top500 ranking, Stampede is listed as having a peak performance of 3959 TFlops, but the cluster was not operational until January 2013.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Advanced_Computing_Center#Stampede,
  7. JUQUEEN
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    JUQUEEN is a supercomputer located at Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers and is one of the largest interdisciplinary research centers in Europe. It was founded on 11 December 1956 by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia as a registered association, before it became “Kernforschungsanlage Jülich GmbH” or Nuclear Research Centre Jülich in 1967. In 1990, the name of the association was changed to “Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH.”
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forschungszentrum_J%C3%BClich,
  8. Vulcan
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    Vulcan at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is a 24-rack, 5 PFLOPS (peak), Blue Gene/Q system that became available in 2013. Vulcan will serve Lab-industry projects through Livermore’s High Performance Computing (HPC) Innovation Center as well as academic collaborations in support of DOE/National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) missions.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Gene,
  9. SuperMUC
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    The SuperMUC is the name of a new supercomputer of the Leibniz-Rechenzentrum (Leibniz Supercomputing Centre) in Garching near Munich which will provide a sustained computing power in the petaflop/s regime. The new supercomputer will be run by the Germany’s Bavarian Academy of Science’s Leibniz Supercomputing Centre and will be available for European researchers to use to probe the frontiers of medicine, astrophysics and quantum chromodynamics and other scientific disciplines such as computational fluid dynamics, computational chemistry, life sciences, genome analysis and earth quake simulations.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SuperMUC,
  10. Tianhe-1 (Milky Way 1)
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    Tianhe-I, Tianhe-1, or TH-1, “Milky Way (literally, Sky River) Number One,” is a supercomputer capable of an Rmax (maximum range) of 2.566 petaFLOPS. Located at the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin, China, it was the fastest computer in the world from October 2010 to June 2011 and is one of the few Petascale supercomputers in the world. In October 2010, an upgraded version of the machine (Tianhe-1A) overtook ORNL’s Jaguar to become the world’s fastest supercomputer, with a peak computing rate of 2.507 petaFLOPS. In June 2011 the Tianhe-1A was overtaken by the K computer as the world’s fastest supercomputer. Both the original Tianhe-1 and Tianhe-1A use a Linux-based operating system.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tianhe-I,
  11. Bonus: Cray Computer

    Cray Inc. (NASDAQ: CRAY) is an American supercomputer manufacturer based in Seattle, Washington. The company’s predecessor, Cray Research, Inc. (CRI), was founded in 1972 by computer designer Seymour Cray. Seymour Cray went on to form the spin-off Cray Computer Corporation (CCC), in 1989, which went bankrupt in 1995, while Cray Research was bought by SGI the next year. Cray Inc. was formed in 2000 when Tera Computer Company purchased the Cray Research Inc. business from SGI and adopted the name of its acquisition.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cray_Computer,
  12. Links: Science, Emerging Technologies, http://www.top500.org/,

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