November 2012

Advanced reports that Oak Ridge National Laboratory was fielding the world’s fastest supercomputer were proven correct when the 40th edition of the twice-yearly TOP500 List of the world’s top supercomputers was released today (Nov. 12, 2012). Titan, a Cray XK7 system installed at Oak Ridge, achieved 17.59 Petaflop/s (quadrillions of calculations per second) on the Linpack benchmark. Titan has 560,640 processors, including 261,632 NVIDIA K20x accelerator cores.

In claiming the top spot, Titan knocked Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Sequoia out of No. 1 and into second place. Sequoia, an IBM BlueGene/Q system, was No. 1 in June 2012 with an impressive 16.32 Petaflop/s on the Linpack benchmark. With 1,572,864 cores, Sequoia is the first system with one million or more cores.

Rounding out the top five systems are Fujitsu’s K computer installed at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS) in Kobe, Japan (No. 3); a BlueGene/Q system named Mira at Argonne National Laboratory (No. 4); and a BlueGene/Q system named JUQUEEN at the Forschungszentrum Juelich in Germany (No. 5), which was upgraded and is now the most powerful system in Europe.

The other new system in the Top 10 is Stampede, a Dell PowerEdge C8220 system installed at the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas in Austin. It uses the brand new Intel Xeon Phi processors (previously known as MIC) to achieve its 2.6 Petaflop/s.

In all there are 23 systems with Petaflop/s performance on the latest list, just four-and-a-half years after the debut of Roadrunner, the world’s first Petaflop/s supercomputer. 

Here are additional highlights from the 40th list:

  • A total of 62 systems on the list are using Accelerator/Co-Processor technology, including Titan and the Chinese Tianhe-1A system (No. 8), which use NVIDIA GPUs to accelerate computation and Stampede and six others, which are accelerated by the new Intel Xeon Phi processors. Six months ago, 58 systems used accelerators or co-processors.

  • Systems with multi-core processors dominate the list—84.6 percent of the systems use processors with six or more cores and 46.2 percent with eight or more cores.

  • Intel continues to provide the processors for the largest share (76 percent) of TOP500 systems. Intel is followed by the AMD Opteron family with 60 systems (12 percent), the same as six months ago. IBM Power processors are used in 53 systems (10.6 percent).

  • InfiniBand technology now provides interconnects on 226 systems, up from 209 systems, making it the most-used internal system interconnect technology. Gigabit Ethernet interconnects are now found on 188 systems, down from207 six months ago.

  • The U.S. is clearly the leading consumer of HPC systems with 251 of the 500 systems (compared to 252 on the June 2012 list). The European share (105 systems—down from 106 last time) is still lower than the Asian share (123 systems – 122 last time).

  • The number of systems installed in China has now stabilized at 72, compared with 68 and 74 on the last two lists. China occupies the No. 2 position as a user of HPC, ahead of Japan, UK, France, and Germany. When it comes to performance share of the list, however, Japan holds the No. 2 position, ahead of China.

  • European presence on the list is almost equal among UK, France, and Germany, with 24, 21 and 20 systems respectively.

  • The entry level to the list moved up to the 76.5 Tflop/s mark on the Linpack benchmark, compared to 60.8 Tflop/s six months ago. The entry point for the TOP100 increased to

    241.3 Tflop/s from 172.7 Tflop/s in six months. 

TOP 10 Sites for November 2012

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
Titan - Cray XK7 , Opteron 6274 16C 2.200GHz, Cray Gemini interconnect, NVIDIA K20x
Cray Inc.
560,640 17,590.0 27,112.5 8,209
United States
Sequoia - BlueGene/Q, Power BQC 16C 1.60 GHz, Custom
1,572,864 16,324.8 20,132.7 7,890
3 RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS)
K computer, SPARC64 VIIIfx 2.0GHz, Tofu interconnect
705,024 10,510.0 11,280.4 12,660
4 DOE/SC/Argonne National Laboratory
United States
Mira - BlueGene/Q, Power BQC 16C 1.60GHz, Custom
786,432 8,162.4 10,066.3 3,945
5 Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ)
JUQUEEN - BlueGene/Q, Power BQC 16C 1.600GHz, Custom Interconnect
393,216 4,141.2 5,033.2 1,970
6 Leibniz-Rechenzentrum
SuperMUC - iDataPlex DX360M4, Xeon E5-2680 8C 2.70GHz, Infiniband FDR
147,456 2,897.0 3,185.1 3,423
7 Texas Advanced Computing Center/Univ. of Texas
United States
Stampede - PowerEdge C8220, Xeon E5-2680 8C 2.700GHz, Infiniband FDR, Intel Xeon Phi
204,900 2,660.3 3,959.0
8 National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin
Tianhe-1A - NUDT YH MPP, Xeon X5670 6C 2.93 GHz, NVIDIA 2050
186,368 2,566.0 4,701.0 4,040
Fermi - BlueGene/Q, Power BQC 16C 1.60GHz, Custom
163,840 1,725.5 2,097.2 822
10 IBM Development Engineering
United States
DARPA Trial Subset - Power 775, POWER7 8C 3.836GHz, Custom Interconnect
63,360 1,515.0 1,944.4 3,576