Friday, September 19, 2014

World's Top 500 Supercomputers

With 233 supercomputers churning away in the USA, it’s clear that Americans have a definite advantage over say the UK or Austria. Without removing the merits of those latter two nations to also innovate in areas of their core competences, they do face a formidable challenge.

Interestingly, Switzerland, a tiny country of 8 million, has more supercomputers than a massive country like Russia. But of course it should rather be weighed on the basis of computing cores and petaflop per second on the Linpack benchmark.

Ranking 6th on the 500 list is Switzerland with a Piz Daint CRAY XC30 system in Lugano. It features 115,984 cores of Xeon 8-core E5-2670 @ 2.6 GHz processors with a 6,271 TFlop/s Linpack performance and a theoretical peak of 7,788.85 TFlop/s. It uses NVIDIA GPUs to accelerate computation and works with a Linux platform (CLE). It’s a fact, Switzerland’s Piz Daint is the fastest supercomputer in Europe. What’s more, it has now been named the greenest petaflop computer in the world… at SC13 in Denver, Colorado (USA).  See www.top500.org for more.


The 'hexaflop' is forecast for around 2018 - 2019. Intel is a major player in the market of components for supercomputers - not only because it produces CPUs Xeon, but also due to the activity in the segment of computing accelerators, which recently have been launched under the brand name Xeon Phi. Intel forecast, 1018 operations per second floating point (hexaflops) by 2018. According to NVIDIA, it will happen in 2019. The hexaflop supercomputer will be possible to handle up to a billion threads. Each node will have a speed of 1.5 to 15 teraflops and connection interface must provide bandwidths from 200 to 400 gigabytes/s.

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