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10 Most Powerful Supercomputers On Earth

  • The current list of the most powerful computers was unveiled at the SC15 conference in Austin last week, revealing that development in high-performance computing has largely plateaued, but China is making strides compared to other countries.

    For the sixth consecutive time in the twice-yearly TOP500 list of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, Tianhe-2, developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology, retained its position as the world’s number one system. The second spot was held by Titan, a Cray XK7 system installed at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

    The TOP500 organization measures performance using the Linpack benchmark, which quantifies how fast a dedicated computer system can solve a dense system of linear equations. Tianhe-2, which translated means Milky Way-2, achieved 33.86 petaflops on the Linpack benchmark, almost twice as high as the second-ranking Titan's 17.59-petaflop score.

    The top 10 machines on the list have been fairly stable in recent years, allowing only two new systems into the highest ranks for this fall's edition. These include the Trinity supercomputer jointly deployed by the US Department of Energy’s Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories, and the Hazel Hen system installed at the Höchstleistungsrechenzentrum Stuttgart.

    The overall list of 500 shows some significant changes since July's rankings. China nearly tripled the number of systems on the list, jumping from 37 up to 109 supercomputing sites. Although it boasts half the systems in the top 10, for total systems the United States fell to the lowest since the list was started in 1993, dropping from 231 in July to 200 at present. The European share also declined from 141 in the last list to 108 systems today.

    Read on for details on the biggest, baddest computers on earth.

  • 1. Tianhe-2 (Milky Way-2)

    Site: National Super Computer Center in Guangzhou
    Manufacturer: NUDT
    Cores: 3,120,000
    Linpack performance 33,862.7 TFlop/s
    Power: 17,808.00 kW
    Memory: 1,024,000 GB
    Processor: Intel Xeon E5-2692v2 12C 2.2GHz

  • 2. Titan - Cray XK7

    Site: US Department of Energy, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
    Manufacturer: Cray
    Cores: 560,640
    Linpack performance 17,590 TFlop/s
    Power: 8,209.00 kW
    Memory: 710,144 GB
    Processor: Opteron 6274 16C 2.2GHz

  • 3. Sequoia

    Site: US National Nuclear Security Administration, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
    Manufacturer: IBM
    Cores: 1,572,864
    Linpack performance 17,173.2 TFlop/s
    Power: 7,890.00 kW
    Memory: 1,572,864 GB
    Processor: Power BQC 16C 1.6GHz

  • 4. K Computer

    Site: RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science
    Manufacturer: Fujitsu
    Cores: 705,024
    Linpack performance 10,510 TFlop/s
    Power: 12,659.89 kW
    Memory: 1,410,048 GB
    Processor: SPARC64 VIIIfx 8C 2GHz

  • 5. Mira

    Site: US Department of Energy, Argonne National Laboratory
    Manufacturer: IBM
    Cores: 786,432
    Linpack performance 8,586.61 TFlop/s
    Power: 3,945.00 kW
    Processor: Power BQC 16C 1.6GHz

  • 6. Trinity

    Site: US Department of Energy, Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Manufacturer: Cray
    Cores: 301,056
    Linpack performance 8,100.9 TFlop/s
    Processor: Xeon E5-2698v3 16C 2.3GHz

  • 7. Piz Daint

    Site: Swiss National Supercomputing Centre
    Manufacturer: Cray
    Cores: 115,984
    Linpack performance 6,271 TFlop/s
    Power: 2,325.00 kW
    Processor: Xeon E5-2670 8C 2.6GHz

  • 8. Hazel Hen

    Site: Höchstleistungsrechenzentrum Stuttgart
    Manufacturer: Cray
    Cores: 185,088
    Linpack performance 5,640.17 TFlop/s
    Processor: Xeon E5-2680v3 12C 2.5GHz

  • 9. Shaheen II

    Site: King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
    Manufacturer: Cray
    Cores: 196,608
    Linpack performance 5,536.99 TFlop/s
    Power: 2,834.00 kW
    Processor: Xeon E5-2698v3 16C 2.3GHz