June 2010

China’s ambition to enter the supercomputing arena have become obvious with a system called Nebulae, build from a Dawning TC3600 Blade system with Intel X5650 processors and NVidia Tesla C2050 GPUs. Nebulae is currently the fastest system worldwide in theoretical peak performance at 2.98 PFlop/s. With a Linpack performance of 1.271 PFlop/s it holds the No. 2 spot on the 35th edition of the closely watched TOP500 list of supercomputers.

The newest version of the TOP500 list, which is issued twice yearly, will be formally presented on Monday, May 31st, at the ISC’10 Conference to be held at the CCH-Congress Center in Hamburg, Germany.

Jaguar, which is located at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, held on to the No. 1 spot on the TOP500 with its record 1.75 petaflop/s performance speed running the Linpack benchmark. Jaguar has a theoretical peak capability of 2.3 petaflop/s and nearly a quarter of a million cores. One petaflop/s refers to one quadrillion calculations per second.

Nebulae, which is located at the newly build National Supercomputing Centre in Shenzhen, China, achieved 1.271 PFlop/s running the Linpack benchmark, which puts it in the No. 2 spot on the TOP500 behind Jaguar. In part due to its NVidia GPU accelerators, Nebulae reports an impressive theoretical peak capability of almost 3 petaflop/s – the highest ever on the TOP500.

Roadrunner, which was the first ever petaflop/s system at Los Alamos in June 2008, dropped to No. 3 with a performance of 1.04 petaflop/s.

At No. 5 is the most powerful system in Europe -- an IBM BlueGene/P supercomputer located at the Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ) in Germany. It achieved 825.5 teraflop/s on the Linpack benchmark.

Tianhe-1 (meaning River in Sky), installed at the National Super Computer Center in Tianjin, China is a second Chinese system in the TOP10 and ranked at No. 7. Tianhe-1 and Nebulae are both hybrid designs with Intel Xeon processors and AMD or NVidia GPUs used as accelerators. Each node of Tianhe-1 consists of two AMD GPUs attached to two Intel Xeon processors.

The performance of Nebulae and Tianhe-1 were enough to catapult China in the No.2 spot of installed performance (9.2 percent) ahead of various European countries, but still clearly behind the U.S. (55.4 percent).

TOP 10 Sites for June 2010

For more information about the sites and systems in the list, click on the links or view the complete list.

Rank Site System Cores Rmax (TFlop/s) Rpeak (TFlop/s) Power (kW)
1 DOE/SC/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
United States
Jaguar - Cray XT5-HE Opteron 6-core 2.6 GHz
Cray Inc.
224,162 1,759.0 2,331.0 6,950
2 National Supercomputing Centre in Shenzhen (NSCS)
Nebulae - Dawning TC3600 Blade, Intel X5650, NVidia Tesla C2050 GPU
120,640 1,271.0 2,984.3 2,580
United States
Roadrunner - BladeCenter QS22/LS21 Cluster, PowerXCell 8i 3.2 Ghz / Opteron DC 1.8 GHz, Voltaire Infiniband
122,400 1,042.0 1,375.8 2,345
4 National Institute for Computational Sciences/University of Tennessee
United States
Kraken XT5 - Cray XT5-HE Opteron 6-core 2.6 GHz
Cray Inc.
98,928 831.7 1,028.9 3,090
5 Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ)
JUGENE - Blue Gene/P Solution
294,912 825.5 1,002.7 2,268
6 NASA/Ames Research Center/NAS
United States
Pleiades - SGI Altix ICE 8200EX/8400EX, Xeon HT QC 3.0/Xeon Westmere 2.93 Ghz, Infiniband
81,920 772.7 973.3 3,096
7 National SuperComputer Center in Tianjin/NUDT
Tianhe-1 - NUDT TH-1 Cluster, Xeon E5540/E5450, ATI Radeon HD 4870 2, Infiniband
71,680 563.1 1,206.2
United States
BlueGene/L - eServer Blue Gene Solution
212,992 478.2 596.4 2,329
9 DOE/SC/Argonne National Laboratory
United States
Intrepid - Blue Gene/P Solution
163,840 458.6 557.1 1,260
10 Sandia National Laboratories / National Renewable Energy Laboratory
United States
Red Sky - Sun Blade x6275, Xeon X55xx 2.93 Ghz, Infiniband
42,440 433.5 497.4 4,344