Swiss super pushes USA off podium in new Top500 Supers list

China packs a one-two punch at the top, UK Met office scores 11th place, Australia 70th

A GPU injection to the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre's Piz Daint supercomputer has seen it hit 19,590 TFLOPS and in the process bump the “Titan” machine at the USA's Oak Ridge National Laboratory off the podium for just the third time in the history of the TOP500 list of the world's mightiest supercomputers.

China's 93,014-TFlops Sunway TaihuLight remains at the top of the twice-yearly list, ahead of the 33,862.7 TFLOPS Tianhe-2.

Intel remains the dominant CPU supplier for listed machines, with Xeons or Xeon Phis found in 464 listed systems. IBM's Power architecture powers 21 listed systems and AMD still has six.

Chipzilla's also doing well on the networking front, with its OmniPath kit now present in 38 of the top 500. A year ago Intel could count claim only eight machines. Ethernet's present on 207 machines compared to InfiniBand on 178. But InfiniBand is present in 42 of the top 100, where Ethernet claims just one user.

HPE is the most-represented supplier on the list, helped by 25 systems added to its tally by acquiring SGI. But even without that injection, HPE would have been ahead of Lenovo's 88 machines and Cray's 57.

Big Reg-reading nations first appearances on the list come in:

  • 11th place for the UK's Meteorological Office, where a 7,038.9 TFLOPS does its funky thing
  • 70th place for Australia's Ranjin at 676.2 TFLOPS (updated as we were wrong that the 111th-placed 1,097.6 TFLOPS Magnus at the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre is the nation's mightiest machine
  • 86th place for Canada's 1,337 TFLOPS Cedar machine at Simon Fraser University and Compute Canada
  • 165th place for India's 901.5 TFLOPS Cray-powered HERC

The wimpiest machine on the June 2017 TOP500 list, down in 500th place, is operated by an unnamed Chinese internet company and runs 110,000 Xeon E5-2609V2 4C cores at 2.5GHz, for a total 432.2 TFLOPS. 500th place in the November 2016 list went to a machine run by a US software company with 13,296 Xeon E5-2673v3 12C cores at 2.4GHz, for a total 349.3 TFLOPS, suggesting the bar for entry to the list isn't going up particularly quickly. ®

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