The U.S. Department of Energy still has the two most powerful supercomputers in the world, including Summit at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, according to a semiannual list released Monday.
It’s the fourth time in the past two years that Summit, an IBM-built supercomputer, has been number one on the TOP500 list of of the world’s most powerful supercomputers.
The United States displaced China at the top of the list last year, in June. Two years ago, in November 2017, China had the top two systems in the world.
Summit debuted at number one in June 2018. That was the first time since 2012 that the United States had the most powerful supercomputer in the world. Summit retained the top spot in November 2018 and again in June 2019.
The Sierra supercomputer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California, climbed to number two from number three in November 2018. It remained at number two on the June list and again on the list released Monday, meaning it’s been number two on three versions of the list in the past two years.
Summit and Sierra are both IBM-built supercomputers that use Power9 central processing units (CPUs) and NVIDIA Tesla V100 graphics processing units (GPUs).
In the most recent results, Summit performed at 148.6 petaflops on a benchmark test known as the High Performance Linpack. That’s 148,600 trillion calculations per second. The Summit performance on this month’s list was the same as its record-setting performance in June. Summit debuted at 122.3 petaflops in June 2018, and its performance has improved since then.
Summit is reported to be about eight times more powerful than Titan, its predecessor, which was once the world’s fastest and was retired in August. Officials have said Summit is capable of 200 petaflops, or 200,000 trillion calculations per second. Officials celebrated the launch of Summit in a ceremony attended by U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry on June 8, 2018.
Sierra performed at 94.6 petaflops, according to the TOP500 list released Monday.
Summit is a DOE Office of Science supercomputer, and Sierra is a National Nuclear Security administration supercomputer. The NNSA is a semi-independent agency within DOE that is responsible for maintaining the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile, working on nuclear nonproliferation, and fueling naval nuclear reactors.
On Monday, TOP500 said the top of its list remained largely unchanged, and the top 10 systems are unchanged from the June list.
Coming in at number three, close behind Sierra, is the Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer. It performed at 93.0 petaflops on the benchmark test, TOP500 said. TaihuLight was developed by China’s National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology, and it is installed at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi. It is powered exclusively by Sunway’s SW26010 processors.
Tianhe-2A (Milky Way-2A), a system developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology and deployed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou, China, holds the number four spot with 61.4 petaflops, TOP500 said. It is powered by Intel Xeon CPUs and Matrix-2000 accelerators.
Frontera, a Dell C6420 system, kept its number five ranking, with a High Performance Linpack result of 23.5 petaflops. Powered solely by Xeon Platinum processors, it was installed at the Texas Advanced Computing Center of the University of Texas in 2018.
At number six is Piz Daint, a Cray XC50 supercomputer installed at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre in Lugano, Switzerland. At 21.2 petaflops, it remains the most powerful system in Europe.
Trinity, a Cray XC40 system operated by Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories, is ranked number seven, with an HPL performance of 20.2 petaflops. It is powered by Intel Xeon and Xeon Phi processors.
Listed at number eight is the AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure, installed at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. The Fujitsu-built system is equipped with Intel Xeon Gold processors and NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs, achieving an HPL result of 19.9 petaflops.
SuperMUC-NG is in the number nine position with 19.5 petaflops. It’s installed at the Leibniz-Rechenzentrum (Leibniz Supercomputing Centre) in Garching, near Munich. The Lenovo-built machine is powered by Intel Platinum Xeon processors.
The Lassen supercomputer is ranked number 10, delivering 18.2 petaflops. Installed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lassen is the unclassified counterpart to the classified Sierra system and shares the same IBM Power9/NVIDIA V100 GPU architecture.
Earlier this year, ORNL officials said Titan, which was once the most powerful on the list, was being disassembled and removed to install Frontier, a new supercomputer that is expected to be the world’s most powerful when it debuts at ORNL in 2021. Perry attended an announcement ceremony for that supercomputer in May.
Frontier will be a $600 million Cray supercomputer that is expected to perform at greater than 1.5 exaflops. It will be able to solve calculations up to 50 times faster than today’s top supercomputers, exceeding a quintillion, or 1018, calculations per second. That’s a billion billion calculations per second.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
You can contact John Huotari, owner and publisher of Oak Ridge Today, at (865) 951-9692 or [email protected]
Most news stories on Oak Ridge Today are free, brought to you by Oak Ridge Today with help from our advertisers, sponsors, and subscribers. This is a free story. Thank you to our advertisers, sponsors, and subscribers. You can see what we cover here.
Do you appreciate this story or our work in general? If so, please consider a monthly subscription to Oak Ridge Today. See our Subscribe page here. Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today.
Copyright 2019 Oak Ridge Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.