Whoa! Who would have thought this?
“It’s been rumored, but now it’s official. The Chinese Tianhe-1A system at the National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin has achieved a performance level of 2.57 petaflop/s (quadrillions of calculations per second). This puts it in the number one spot on the 36th edition of the TOP500’s world’s most powerful supercomputer list, the organization said Sunday.
As a result, the prior winner on the list—the Cray XT5 ‘Jaguar’ system at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility in Tennessee—is now ranked in second place, with a score of 1.75 petaflop/s.
Jaguar was expected to lose the top spot in the latest survey, ever since news first leaked in late October that the Tianhe-1A was testing considerably faster. TOP500 benchmarks each supercomputer with Linpack, the organization’s benchmark application.
The next three spots in the TOP500 are held by Nebulae, a Chinese system in Shenzhen rated at 1.27 petaflop/s; Tsubame 2.0, a system at the Tokyo Institute of Technology that scores 1.19 petaflop/s; and Hopper, a Cray XE6 system at DOE’s National Research Energy Scientific Computing (NERSC) Center in California, which hits 1.05 petaflop/s.
Interestingly, the two Chinese systems and Tsubame 2.0 are all using Nvidia GPUs to accelerate computation. In fact, 28 systems overall on the TOP500 uses GPUs as accelerators; 16 employ the Cell processor, 10 use Nvidia chips, and two use AMD Radeons chips.”