Just recently we told you about the IBM Summit supercomputer that is developed for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the US. The computing beast is being called the most powerful supercomputer yet, beating China’s Sunway.
Summit has tasted another bread of success as the TOP500 List of the world’s fastest supercomputers renews for the year 2018. It’s not surprising to see Summit ( with its Linpack score of 122.3 petaflops) taking the throne away from Sunway TaihuLight (Linpack score: 93 petaflops). But China still has the largest number of supercomputers on the list.
TOP500 Most Powerful Supercomputers – June 2018
- IBM Summit
- Sunway TaihulLight
- IBM Sierra
- AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure (ABCI)
- Piz Daint
In the TOP500 list released in November 2017, all the supercomputers were powered by Linux. This year is no different, and we have all 500 supercomputers running Linux, including the new king Summit.
While computing power is mostly associated with CPUs, over the years, the credit has started to shift towards the GPUs. In this year’s rankings, around 56% TFlops of additional flops were a result of Nvidia Tesla GPUs running in supercomputers.
In the case of Summit, it’s peak performance is 187.7 petaflops which is the result of the 27,686 GPUs it packs, according to Nvidia. The story of the third member in the Top500 list Sierra is also similar whose 17,280 GPUs represent the lions share of the systems flops.
An interesting thing to see is that almost half of the customers who buy Nvidia GPUs for their HPC, AI, or data analytics sector never submit their system for consideration in the TOP500 list. Many such GPU-accelerated systems qualify for a spot in the list but the customers either don’t care about it, or they don’t want to make their purchases public.