New Chinese Supercomputer Named World’s Fastest System on Latest TOP500 List

FRANKFURT, Germany; BERKELEY, Calif.; and KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—China maintained its No. 1 ranking on the 47th edition of the TOP500 list of the world’s top supercomputers, but with a new system built entirely using processors designed and made in China. Sunway TaihuLight is the new No. 1 system with 93 petaflop/s (quadrillions of calculations per second) on the LINPACK benchmark.

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China Races Ahead in TOP500 Supercomputer List, Ending US Supremacy

US supercomputing was dealt a couple of blows on Monday after the latest rankings of the 500 fastest supercomputers in the world were announced during the opening to the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC). In the updated TOP500 list, China retained its leadership at the top with a new number one system, while also overtaking the United States in the number of total systems and aggregate performance. This is first time in the list’s history that the US did not dominate the TOP500 results in these latter two categories.

Managing HPC Failures Takes Forethought

Things do go wrong. I was recently on a train journey from Liverpool to London. Normally a two-hour direct service, a flooded line resulted in a five-hour excursion, by which time the meeting had finished without me. At the time, with frequent information announcements, passable WiFi (paid), free drinks proactively distributed (water only), food available (paid), and most importantly, electricity sockets, the five hours passed with less distress than I might have expected in hindsight. The lesson is that when things go wrong, what matters is how they are dealt with.

Cavium to Buy QLogic for $1.36 Billion

Chipmaker Cavium is plopping down a cool billion, and then some, to acquire QLogic, a networking and storage specialist. With the deal, Cavium is hoping to expand its footprint in the datacenter and fill in certain holes in its portfolio.

Algorithmic Trading Pioneer Prepares to Shake Up Mexico’s Stock Market

Mexico City’s suburbs don't exactly conjure up images of New York’s financial district, but one young trader is looking to close that gap. Alberto Alonso, a 32-year-old entrepreneur, has created a supercomputing system that does the type of algorithmic trading more commonly associated with those on Wall Street. A story on Bloomberg’s news site describes how Alonso came to build his machine, and why he believes the algorithm he developed will be able “mint money” once the system goes into full production.

HPC Power Compiler, Accelerator Support in the Works

OpenACC, the accelerator standards body, announced some new developments this week that should make GPU computing aficionados happy.  Perhaps the most significant news is that a new OpenACC-supported compiler, which will support Power-based HPC clusters equipped with NVIDIA’s Tesla GPUs, is nearing its commercial release. The compiler, which is under development by the Portland Group (PGI), is undergoing testing now with some well-connected customers, and will be released as a public beta in August.

India to Upgrade Weather Service with $60 Million Supercomputer

India’s weather bureau will soon have petascale power at its disposal, courtesy of a new $60 million supercomputer that’s in the works. According to a report by Reuters, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) is currently using an older system supplied by IBM, which can only provide forecasts at a national and regional level. The new system is anticipated to be 10 times as fast, and will have the power to provide specific forecasts for India’s 29 states.

South Africa Joins Petaflop Club

The South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has announced its newest supercomputer, which will deliver about a peak petaflop worth of computing power. The new machine, known as Lengau (the Setswana name for Cheetah), was procured from Dell and will be housed at the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC).

Stampede 2: The 18-Petaflop Sequel

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is spending $30 million on the second iteration of Stampede supercomputer, which will provide 18 petaflops worth of compute to tens of thousands of scientists and researchers across the US. Named after its predecessor, Stampede 2, will double the FLOP-count of the original system, which cost $27.5 million when it came online in 2013. As with the original Stampede, the new machine will be housed at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). More News

In Depth

Fujitsu Switches Horses for Post-K Supercomputer, Will Ride ARM into Exascale

ARM has been something of stealth architecture in the battle to unseat the x86 as the dominant platform for high performance computing systems. That lower profile changed this week at the ISC 2016 conference, where Fujitsu announced it would develop an ARM processor for its Post-K exascale supercomputer. But the effort promises to have much a wider impact on the HPC landscape than just a single system.

Intel Takes on NVIDIA with Knights Landing Launch

Intel’s much-awaited Knights Landing Xeon Phi processor is now being shipped in volume to OEMs and other system providers, who will soon be churning out HPC gear equipped with the new chip. And if there was any doubt, Intel made it clear that with Knights Landing, it would be going after the same set of HPC and deep learning customers that NVIDIA has been successfully courting with its Tesla GPU portfolio. The official launch of the new processor was announced at the ISC High Performance conference (ISC), which is taking place this week in Frankfurt.

China Tops Supercomputer Rankings with New 93-Petaflop Machine

A new Chinese supercomputer, the Sunway TaihuLight, captured the number one spot on the latest TOP500 list of supercomputers released on Monday morning at the ISC High Performance conference (ISC) being held in Frankfurt, Germany.  With a Linpack mark of 93 petaflops, the system outperforms the former TOP500 champ, Tianhe-2, by a factor of three. The machine is powered by a new ShenWei processor and custom interconnect, both of which were developed locally, ending any remaining speculation that China would have to rely on Western technology to compete effectively in the upper echelons of supercomputing.

NVIDIA Unveils Pascal GPU for HPC Servers

NVIDIA used the opening of the ISC High Performance conference (ISC) on Monday to launch its first Pascal GPU targeted to high performance computing. The announcement follows on the heels of the introduction of the Pascal P100 at the GPU Technology Conference in April, a device which was aimed at the deep learning market. The new HPC GPU, however, differs from its deep learning sibling in some surprising ways.

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This Week in HPC

New #1 Supercomputer Crushes Competition and China Takes TOP500 by Storm

Addison Snell and Michael Feldman dissect the top stories from the start of ISC 2016, including the Chinese dominance of the Top500 list.

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Top 10

Sunway TaihuLight - Sunway MPP, Sunway SW26010 260C 1.45GHz, Sunway
Tianhe-2 (MilkyWay-2) - TH-IVB-FEP Cluster, Intel Xeon E5-2692 12C 2.200GHz, TH Express-2, Intel Xeon Phi 31S1P
Titan - Cray XK7 , Opteron 6274 16C 2.200GHz, Cray Gemini interconnect, NVIDIA K20x
Cray Inc.
Sequoia - BlueGene/Q, Power BQC 16C 1.60 GHz, Custom
K computer, SPARC64 VIIIfx 2.0GHz, Tofu interconnect
Mira - BlueGene/Q, Power BQC 16C 1.60GHz, Custom
Trinity - Cray XC40, Xeon E5-2698v3 16C 2.3GHz, Aries interconnect
Cray Inc.
Piz Daint - Cray XC30, Xeon E5-2670 8C 2.600GHz, Aries interconnect , NVIDIA K20x
Cray Inc.
Hazel Hen - Cray XC40, Xeon E5-2680v3 12C 2.5GHz, Aries interconnect
Cray Inc.
Shaheen II - Cray XC40, Xeon E5-2698v3 16C 2.3GHz, Aries interconnect
Cray Inc.