Highlights: November 2010

  • The Chinese Tianhe-1A system is the new No. 1 on the TOP500 and clearly in the lead with 2.57 petaflop/s performance.

  • No. 3 is also a Chinese system called Nebulae, built from a Dawning TC3600 Blade system with Intel X5650 processors and NVIDIA Tesla C2050 GPUs

  • There are seven petaflop/s systems in the TOP10

  • The U.S. is tops in petaflop/s with three systems performing at the petaflop/s level

  • The two Chinese systems and the new Japanese Tsubame 2.0 system at No. 4 are all using NVIDIA GPUs to accelerate computation and a total of 28 systems on the list are using GPU technology.

  • China keeps increasing its number of systems to 41 and is now clearly the No. 2 country, as a user of HPC, ahead of Japan, France, Germany, and UK.

  • The Jaguar system at Oak Ridge National Laboratory slipped to the No. 2 spot with 1.75 Pflop/s Linpack performance.

  • The most powerful system in Europe is a Bull system at the French CEA at No. 6.

  • Intel dominates the high-end processor market, with 79.6 percent of all systems and over 90 percent of quad-core based systems.

  • Intel’s Westmere processors increased their presence in the list with 56 systems, compared with seven in the last list.

  • Quad-core processors are used in 73 percent of the systems, while 19 percent of the systems use processors with six or more cores.

  • Other notable systems are

    • The Grape custom accelerator-based systems in Japan at No. 280 and No. 384

    • The #4 system Tsubame 2.0 that can run a Windows OS and achieve almost identical performance doing so.

  • Cray regained the No. 2 spot in market share by total performance from Hewlett-Packard, but IBM stays well ahead.

  • The Cray’s XT system series remains very popular for big research customers with four systems in the TOP10 (two new and two previously listed).

Power consumption of supercomputers

  • TOP500 now tracks actual power consumption of supercomputers in a consistent fashion.

  • Only 25 systems on the list are confirmed to use more than 1 megawatt (MW) of power.

  • The No. 2 system Jaguar reports the highest total power consumption of 6.95 MW.

  • Average power consumption of a TOP500 system is 447 KW (up from 397 KW six months ago) and average power efficiency is 219 Mflops/watt (up from 195 Mflops/watt six month ago).

  • Average power consumption of a TOP10 system is 3.2 MW  (up from 2.89 MW six months ago) and average power efficiency is 268 Mflops/watt down from 300 Mflops/watt six months ago.

  • Most energy efficient supercomputers are based on:
    • BlueGene/Q Prototype with 1680 Mflop/watt
    • Fujitsu K-Computer at Riken with 829 Mflop/watt
    • QPace Clusters based on IBM PowerXCell 8i processor blades in Germany (up to 774 Mflop/watt)

Highlights from the Top 10:

  • The new Chinese Tianhe-1A system is the new No. 1 on the TOP500 and clearly in the lead with 2.57 petaflop/s performance.

  • The TOP10 features five new systems, four of which show more than one petaflop/s Linpack performance which bring the total number of petaflops systems up to seven.

  • The Chinese Nebulae system, which had its debut in the TOP500 only six months ago is at No. 3 and the second Chinese system in the TOP10.

  • Tsubame 2.0 is new, coming in at No. 4.

  • At No. 5 is a new Cray XE6 system installed at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). This is the third U.S. system ever to break the petaflop/s barrier after RoadRunner (No.7) and Jaguar (No. 2).

  • New to the list are Hopper (No. 5) and Cielo (No. 10), both Cray machines.

  • The other new system is at CEA in France (No. 6).

  • The U.S. only has five systems in the TOP10, Nos. 2, 5, 7, , and 10. The others are in China, Japan, France and Germany.

  • Already 95 systems are using processors with 6 or more cores. Quad-core processor-based systems still dominate the TOP500, as 365 systems are using them and 37 systems are still using dual-core processors.

  • The entry level to the list moved up to the 31.1 Tflop/s mark on the Linpack benchmark, compared to 24.7 Tflop/s six months ago.

  • The last system on the newest list was listed at position 305 in the previous TOP500 just six months ago. This turnover rate is about average after the rather low replacement rate six months ago.

  • Total combined performance of all 500 systems has grown to 44.2 Pflop/s, compared to 32.4 Pflop/s six months ago and 27.6 Pflop/s one year ago.

  • The entry point for the TOP100 increased in six months from 52.84 Tflop/s to 75.76 Tflop/s.

  • The average concurrency level in the TOP500 is 13,071 cores per system, up from 10,267 six months ago and 9,174 one year ago.

General highlights from the TOP500 since the last edition:

  • A total of 398 systems (79.6 percent) are now using Intel processors. This is slightly down from six months ago (406 systems, 81.2 percent). Intel continues to provide the processors for the largest share of TOP500 systems.

  • They are now followed by the AMD Opteron family with 57 systems (11.4 percent), up from 47.

  • The share of IBM Power processors is slowly declining, now accounting for 40 systems (8.0 percent), down from 42.

  • 17 systems use GPUs as accelerators, 6 of these use Cell processors, ten use NVIDIA chips and one uses ATI Radeon.

  • Gigabit Ethernet is still the most-used internal system interconnect technology (227 systems, down from 244 systems), due to its widespread use at industrial customers, followed by InfiniBand technology with 214 systems, up from 205 systems.

  • However, InfiniBand-based systems account for two and a half times as much performance (20.4 Pflop/s) than Gigabit Ethernet ones (8.7 Pflop/s).

  • IBM and Hewlett-Packard continue to sell the bulk of the systems at all performance levels of the TOP500.

  • IBM kept its lead in systems and has now 200 systems (40 percent) compared to HP with 158 systems (31.6 percent). HP had 185 systems (37 percent) six months ago, compared to IBM with 198 systems (39.8 percent).

  • IBM remains the clear leader in the TOP500 list in performance with 27.4 percent of installed total performance (down from 33.6 percent). HP lost the second place in this category to Cray. HP went down to 15.6 percent from 20.4 percent, while Cray increased to 19.1 percent from 14.8 percent.

  • In the system category, Cray, SGI, and Dell follow with 5.8 percent, 4.4 percent and 4.0 percent respectively.

  • In the performance category, the manufacturers with more than 5 percent are: NUDT which engineered the Nos.1 and 12 systems (7.1 percent of performance) and SGI (5.7 percent).

  • HP (137) and IBM (136) together sold 273 out of 281 systems at commercial and industrial customers and have had this important market segment clearly cornered for some time now.

  • The U.S. is clearly the leading consumer of HPC systems with 274 of the 500 systems (down from 282). The European share (125 systems – down from 144) is still substantially larger than the Asian share (84 systems – up from 57).

  • Dominant countries in Asia are China with 41 systems (up from 24), Japan with 26 systems (up from 18), and India with 4 systems (down from five).

  • In Europe, Germany and France caught up with the UK. UK dropped from the No. 1 position with now 24 systems (38 six months ago). France and Germany passed the UK and have now 26 each (up from 29 and up from 24 systems six month ago).

Highlights from the TOP50:

  • The entry level into the TOP50 is at 126.5 Tflop/s

  • The U.S. has a similar percentage of systems (50 percent) in the TOP50 than in the TOP500 (54.8 percent).

  • China is already following with five systems (10 percent).

  • Cray has passed IBM and now leads the TOP50 with 34 percent of systems and 33 percent of performance.

  • No. 2 is now IBM with a share of 18 percent of systems and 17 percent of performance.

  • 66 percent of systems are installed at research labs and 22 percent at universities.

  • There is only a single system using Gigabit Ethernet in the TOP50.

  • The average concurrency level is 64,618 cores per system – up from 49,080 cores per system six months ago and 44,338 one year ago.

All changes are from June 2010 to November 2010.

About the TOP500 List

The TOP500 list is compiled by Hans Meuer of the University of Mannheim, Germany; Erich Strohmaier and Horst Simon of NERSC/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. For more information, visit www.top500.org