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US retains leadership in global supercomputer stakes

Image: The world's fastest supercomputer today, The Summit at  Oak Ridge  National Laboratory, USA clocking 143.5 petraflops
November 14 2018: The 52nd edition of the TOP500 list  released yesterday, saw five US Department of Energy (DOE) supercomputers in the top 10 positions, with the first two captured by Summit at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Sierra at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).
Summit widened its lead as the number one system, improving its High Performance Linpack (HPL) score from 122.3 to 143.5 petaflops since its debut on the previous list in June 2018. Sierra also added to its HPL result from six months ago, going from 71.6 to 94.6 petaflops, enough to bump it from the number three position to number two. Both are IBM-built supercomputers, powered by Power9 CPUs and NVIDIA V100 GPUs.
Sierra’s ascendance pushed China’s Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer, installed at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, into third place. Prior to last June, it had held the top position on the TOP500 list for two years with its HPL performance of 93.0 petaflops. TaihuLight was developed by China’s National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology (NRCPC).
Tianhe-2A (Milky Way-2A), deployed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzho, China, is now in the number four position with a Linpack score of 61.4 petaflops. It was upgraded earlier this year by China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT), replacing the older Intel Xeon Phi accelerators with the proprietary Matrix-2000 chips.
At number five is Piz Daint, a Cray XC50 system installed at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) in Lugano, Switzerland. At 21.2 petaflops, it maintains its standing as the most powerful system in Europe. It is powered by a combination of Intel Xeon processors and NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPUs
The share of TOP500 installations in China continues to rise, with the country now claiming 227 systems (45 percent of the total). The number of supercomputers that call the US home continues to decline, reaching an all-time low of 109 (22 percent of the total).

There are now 429 supercomputers on the TOP500 list that deliver over one petaflop 
NVIDIA
The list released at the start of the SC18 annual high performance computing conference, shows a 48 percent jump in one year in the number of systems using NVIDIA GPU accelerators. The total climbed to 127 from 86 a year ago, and is three times greater than five years ago.
Moreover, NVIDIA GPUs power the world’s two fastest supercomputers — the U.S. Department of Energy’s Summit, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Sierra, at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. Combined, the two systems feature more than 40,000 NVIDIA® V100 Tensor Core GPUs




    


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