MANNHEIM, Germany; BERKELEY, Calif.; and KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—Tianhe-2, a supercomputer developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology, retained its position as the world’s No. 1 system with a performance of 33.86 petaflop/s (quadrillions of calculations per second) on the Linpack benchmark, according to the 42nd edition of the twice-yearly TOP500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers. The list was announced Nov. 18 at the SC13 conference in Denver, Colo.
Berkeley Lab scientist Erich Strohmaier created the first TOP500 list of supercomputers in June 1993 with Professor Hans Meuer. Updated twice annually, the list serves as the industry inventory of the fastest supercomputers in the world. Currently, Dr. Strohmaier is the head of the Future Technologies Group at Berkeley Lab, where his team studies the design and development of hardware and software systems that allow application scientists to more effectively use high-end machines. In this “10 Questions,” Dr. Strohmaier discusses the evolution of the TOP500 list, his own career and where the field of high performance computing is going next.
The start of December is when the International Electron Devices Meeting IEDM traditionally takes place. Next to the presentation of numerous new designs (with and without silicon), its agenda always includes an overview of the latest process technology.
The semi-annual HPC "500 list" time and its attendant fall iron horse racing season are upon us. Thanks to the hard work of the list keepers, we currently enjoy three major ones to review, compare and contrast: TOP500, Green500 and Graph 500. Each focuses on a distinct aspect of HPC – number crunching, energy efficiency, and data crunching, respectively – and together they allow us to construct our own type of Triple Crown. Since new race results were recently announced, let's take a look at the current standings.