The United States leads the TOP500 – a global supercomputer ranking of the most powerful systems. The Frontier system from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), running on AMD EPYC processors, took first place from the last year’s champion – the Japanese ARM A64X Fugaku system. It is still in the process of being integrated and tested at ORNL in Tennessee, but will eventually be operated by the US Air Force and the US Department of Energy.
The Frontier, powered by Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) Cray EX platform, was the leader before, by a large margin. This is the first (known) true exaflop system to reach a peak of 1.1 exaflops in the Linmark benchmark. Fugaku, meanwhile, managed to achieve less than half of that figure – 442 petaflops, which was enough to helm the rating for the previous two years.
Frontier also proved to be the most efficient supercomputer. Consuming only 52.23 gigaflops per watt, it bypassed the Japanese MN-3 system and took first place in the Green500 list. “The fact that the world’s fastest machine is also the most energy efficient is just simply amazing,” ORNL lab director Thomas Zacharia said at a press conference.
The TOP10 also includes another HPE Cray EX system installed at EuroHPC in Finland (151.9 petaflops), a Summit system built by IBM on 22-core Power processors with NVIDIA Tesla V100 graphics processors (148.8 petaflops), and Sierra Lawrence Livermore, a more compact version of the Summit, which reached a speed of 94.6 petaflops/s.
China took two spots in the TOP10 with its Sunway TaihuLight from the National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology (NRCPC) and Tianhe-2A built by China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT). However, it is rumored that China already has at least two exaflop systems (according to the Linmark benchmark) on the new Sunway Oceanlite and Tianhe-3 systems. However, due to the current state of semiconductor policy, China is rumored not to disclose any new benchmarks or important achievements.
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