Japan's K Supercomputer Now Ranks Fastest in the World

Paul Lilly

We suspect that with a little bit of tweaking, Japan's "K Computer" wouldn't break a sweat running Crysis, but where this supercomputer really struts its stuff is in the LINKPACK benchmark. Equipped with 68,544 processors, Fujitsu's half-build system cranked out 8.162 petaflops (quadrillion floating-point operations per second) in LINKPACK, short of the company's goal of 10 petaflops by 2012 but still enough to take first place on the 37th Top 500 list.

RIKEN and Fujitsu co-developed the K Computer system, which currently consists of 672 computer racks. By the time it's finished, the K Computer will be comprised of over 800 computer racks, each one boasting mutiple "ultrafast and energy efficient CPUs," Fujitsu says. The two firms expect the world's fastest supercomputer to have a groundbreaking impact in fields ranging from global climate research, meteorology, disaster prevention, and medicine.

The K Computer will likely stay on top for a long time. Rounding out the Top 500 list are the following:

  • China's National Supercomputing Center in Shenzen (1.27 petaflops)
  • Tsubame 2.0 at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (1.19 petaflops)
  • Cielo at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico (1.11 petaflops)
  • Pieiades at the NASA Ames Research Center in California (1.09 petaflops)
  • Hopper at DOE's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) in California (1.054 petaflops)
  • Tera 100 at the CEA in France (1.05 petaflops)
  • Roadrunner at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico (1.04 petaflops)

K Computer's 68,544 SPAR64 VIIIfx CPUs each have eight cores for a total of 548,352 cores, nearly twice as many as any other system in the Top 500. It's also more powerful than the next fives systems on the list combined, Top 500 says .

Image Credit: Fujitsu

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