Top 10 World's Fastest Supercomputers - Oddetorium

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Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Top 10 World's Fastest Supercomputers

Top 10 World's Fastest Supercomputers

What is Supercomputer:

 A supercomputer is a computer at the frontline of current processing capacity – particularly speed of calculation. The term "Super Computing" was first used in the New York World in 1929 to refer to large custom-built tabulators that IBM had made for Columbia University.

Supercomputers were introduced in the 1960s, designed initially and, for decades, primarily by Seymour Cray at Control Data Corporation (CDC), Cray Research and subsequent companies bearing his name or monogram. While the supercomputers of the 1970s used only a few processors, in the 1990s machines with thousands of processors began to appear and, by the end of the 20th century, massively parallel supercomputers with tens of thousands of "off-the-shelf" processors were the norm. As of June 2013, China's Tianhe-2 supercomputer is the fastest in the world: at 33.9 PetaFLOPS, it is more than 20 billion (2 x 1010) times faster than the first supercomputer (the CDC 6600). For comparison purposes, that is roughly the difference between the top speed of a common sloth vs. the speed of light in vacuum.

Below are top 10 fastest supercomputers in the world which are operating by world's superpowers.

1. Tianhe-2 - China:

A Chinese university has built the world's fastest supercomputer, almost doubling the speed of the U.S. machine that previously claimed the top spot and underlining China's rise as a science and technology powerhouse. The semiannual TOP500 listing of the world's fastest supercomputers released Monday says the Tianhe-2 developed by the National University of Defense Technology in central China's Changsha city is capable of sustained computing of 33.86 petaflops per second. That's the equivalent of 33,860 trillion calculations per second. Supercomputers are used for complex work such as modeling weather systems, simulating nuclear explosions and designing jetliners.

It's the second time a Chinese computer has been named the world's fastest. Most of the features of the system were developed in China, and they are only using Intel for the main compute part. 

2. Titan - U.S:

Titan is a supercomputer built by Cray at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for use in a variety of science projects. Titan is an upgrade of Jaguar, a previous supercomputer at Oak Ridge, to use graphics processing units (GPUs) in addition to conventional central processing units (CPUs), and is the first such hybrid to perform over 10 petaFLOPS. The upgrade began in October 2011, commenced stability testing in October 2012 and it became partially available to researchers in early 2013. The initial cost of the upgrade was US$60 million, funded primarily by the United States Department of Energy.

Titan uses 18,688 CPUs paired with an equal number of GPUs to perform at a theoretical peak of 27 petaFLOPS. Titan is available for any purpose. Six "vanguard" codes were selected to be the first to run on Titan dealing mostly with molecular scale physics or climate models, while 25 others are also queued for use of the machine. 

 3. Sequoia - U.S.


IBM Sequoia is a petascale Blue Gene/Q supercomputer constructed by IBM for the National Nuclear Security Administration as part of the Advanced Simulation and Computing Program (ASC). It was delivered to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in 2011 and was fully deployed in June 2012.
On 14 June 2012, the TOP500 Project Committee announced that Sequoia replaced the K computer as the world's fastest supercomputer, with a LINPACK performance of 16.32 petaflops, 55% faster than the K computer's 10.51 petaflops, having 123% more cores than the K computer's 705,024 cores. Sequoia is also more energy efficient, as it consumes 7.9 MW, 37% less than the K computer's 12.6 MW.
Record-breaking science applications have been run on Sequoia, the first to cross 10 petaflops of sustained performance. The cosmology simulation framework HACC achieved almost 14 petaflops with a 3.6 trillion particle benchmark run, while the Cardioid code, which models the electrophysiology of the human heart, achieved nearly 12 petaflops with a near real-time simulation.
The entire supercomputer runs on Linux, with CNK running on over 98,000 nodes, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux running on 768 I/O nodes that are connected to the filesystem.

 4. K computer - Japan

 The K computer – named for the Japanese word "kei" (京?), meaning 10 quadrillion (1016) – is a supercomputer manufactured by Fujitsu, currently installed at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science campus in Kobe, Japan. The K computer is based on a distributed memory architecture with over 80,000 computer nodes. It is used for a variety of applications, including climate research, disaster prevention and medical research. The K computer's operating system is based on the Linux kernel, with additional drivers designed to make use of the computer's hardware.

In June 2011, TOP500 ranked K the world's fastest supercomputer, with a computation speed of over 8 petaflops, and in November 2011, K became the first computer to top 10 petaflops. It had originally been slated for completion in June 2012. In June 2012, K was superseded as the world's fastest supercomputer by the American IBM Sequoia; as of 2013, K is the world's fourth-fastest computer.

5. Mira - U.S.

 Mira is a petascale Blue Gene/Q supercomputer. As of June 2012, it is listed on TOP500 as the third-fastest supercomputer in the world. It has a performance of 8.16 petaflops and consumes 3.9 MW in power. The supercomputer was constructed by IBM for Argonne National Laboratory's Argonne Leadership Computing Facility with the support of the United States Department of Energy, and partially funded by the National Science Foundation. Mira will be used for scientific research, including studies in the fields of material science, climatology, seismology, and computational chemistry. The supercomputer is being utilized initially for sixteen projects, selected by the Department of Energy.

The Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, which commissioned the supercomputer, was established by the America COMPETES Act, signed by President Bush in 2007, and President Obama in 2011. The United States' emphasis on supercomputing has been seen as a response to China's progress in the field. China's Tianhe-1A, located at the Tianjin National Supercomputer Center, was ranked the most powerful supercomputer in the world from October 2010 to June 2011. Mira is, along with IBM Sequoia and the upcoming Blue Waters, one of three American petascale supercomputers deployed in 2012.

The cost for building Mira has not been released by IBM. Early reports estimated that construction would cost US$50 million, and Argonne National Laboratory announced that Mira was bought using money from a grant of US$180 million. In a press release, IBM marketed the supercomputer's speed, claiming that "if every man, woman and child in the United States performed one calculation each second, it would take them almost a year to do as many calculations as Mira will do in one second"

6. Stampede - U.S.


Stampede is sixth fastest computer in the world currently and one of the largest computing systems in the world for open science research. As an NSF petascale HPC acquisition, this system provides unprecedented computational capabilities to the national research community enabling breakthrough science that has never before been possible. The scale of Stampede delivers opportunities in computational science and technology research, from highly parallel algorithms to high-throughput computing, from scalable visualization to next generation programming languages.

7. Juqueen or Jugene - Germany

 JUGENE (Jülich Blue Gene) is a supercomputer built by IBM for Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany. It is based on the Blue Gene/P and is the successor to the JUBL based on an earlier design. It was at the introduction the second fastest computer in the world. It is currently the ninth fastest computer in the world according to TOP500. The computer is owned by the Institute "Jülich Supercomputing Centre" (JSC) and the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing.

With 65,536 PowerPC 450 cores, clocked at 850 MHz and housed in 16 cabinets the computer reaches a peak processing power of 222.8 TFLOPS (Rpeak). With an official Linpack rating of 167.3 TFLOPS (Rmax) JUGENE took second place overall and is the fastest civil/commercially used computer in the TOP500 list of November 2007.

The computer was financed by Forschungszentrum Jülich, the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Federal Ministry for Research and Education as well as the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. The head of the JSC, Thomas Lippert, said that "The unique thing about our JUGENE is its extremely low power consumption compared to other systems even at maximum computing power". A Blue Gene/P-System should reach about 0.35 GFLOPS/Watt and is therefore an order of magnitude more effective than a common x86 based supercomputer for a similar task.

In February 2009 it was announced that JUGENE would be upgraded to reach petaflops performance in June 2009, making it the first petascale supercomputer in Europe.

On May 26, 2009, the newly configurated JUGENE was unveiled. It includes 294,912 processor cores, 144 terabyte memory, 6 petabyte storage in 72 racks. With a peak performance of about one PetaFLOPS, it was at the time the third fastest supercomputer in the world, ranking behind IBM Roadrunner and Jaguar. The new configuration also incorporates a new water cooling system that will reduce the cooling cost substantially.

The two front nodes of JUGENE are operated with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10.

JUGENE replaced by the Blue Gene/Q system JUQUEEN 31st July 2012.

 8. Vulcan - U.S

 The Vulcan supercomputer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is now available for collaborative work with industry and research universities to advance science and accelerate the technological innovation at the heart of U.S. economic competitiveness.

A 5 petaflops (quadrillion floating point operations per second) IBM Blue Gene/Q system, Vulcan will serve Lab-industry projects through Livermore's High Performance Computing (HPC) Innovation Center as well as academic collaborations in support of DOE/National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) missions. The availability of Vulcan effectively raises the amount of computing at LLNL available for external collaborations by an order of magnitude.

9. SuperMuc - Germany

The SuperMUC will have 18,432 Intel Xeon Sandy Bridge-EP processors running in IBM System x iDataPlex servers with a total of 147,456 cores and a peak performance of about 3 petaFLOPS (3 × 1015 FLOPS). The main memory will be 288 terabytes (288 × 1012 bytes) together with 12 petabytes (12 × 1015 bytes) of hard disk space based on the IBM General Parallel File System (GPFS). It will also use a new form of cooling that IBM developed, called Aquasar, that uses hot water to cool the processors, a design that should cut cooling electricity usage by 40 percent, IBM claims.[ SuperMUC will be connected to powerful visualization systems, which consists of a large 4K stereoscopic powerwall as well as a 5-sided CAVE artificial virtual reality environment.

 10. Tianhe-1A - China

Tianhe-I, Tianhe-1, or TH-1  (Mandarin pronunciation:pinyin: Tiānhé yīhào), in English, "Milky Way (literally, Sky River) Number One", is a supercomputer capable of an Rmax (maximum range) of 2.566 petaFLOPS. Located at the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin, China, it was the fastest computer in the world from October 2010 to June 2011 and is one of the few Petascale supercomputers in the world. In October 2010, an upgraded version of the machine (Tianhe-1A) overtook ORNL's Jaguar to become the world's fastest supercomputer, with a peak computing rate of 2.507 petaFLOPS. In June 2011 the Tianhe-1A was overtaken by the K computer as the world's fastest supercomputer. Both the original Tianhe-1 and Tianhe-1A use a Linux-based operating system.


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