Japan's K Supercomputer Still the Fastest in the World, Top500 Says

Paul Lilly

Earlier this month we reported that Japan's "K Computer" built by Fujitsu broke the 10 Petaflop per second barrier on the Linpack benchmark, an impressive feat it achieved with 705,024 SPARC64 processing cores. Not only is that fast, but it also allowed the Super K system to hang onto its pole position atop the Top500's List of the world's most powerful supercomputers, Top500 announced today.

"The K Computer is the first supercomputer to achieve a performance level of 10 Petaflop/s, or 10 quadrillion calculations per second," Top500 said . "In June 2011, the partially built K computer had taken the No. 1 position with a performance of 8.16 Petaflop/s. Contrary to many other recent very large systems, it does not utilize graphics processors or other accelerators. The K Computer is also one of the most energy efficient systems on the list."

As a matter of fact, there wasn't any movement whatsoever among the top 10 systems in the Top500 List, which is the first time that's happened since the organization began publishing the list back in 1993. With regards to the No. 1 spot, Japan's Super K system is well ahead of the pack, with China's Tianhe-1A system at a distant second with 2.57 Petaflop/s performance.

With the November release of the Top500 List, supercomputers are now required to handle 50.9 Teraflop/s to even be considered, which is higher than the top supercomputer in 2004. There are 39 systems now using GPUs for some computing tasks, and IBM inches ever closer to supplying half of the top 500 systems (223, to be exact).

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