The supercomputing crown now belongs to China and the country's Tianhe-1A machine, which was able to crank out 2.507 petaflops with more than a little help from Nvidia and Intel, according to a Nvidia press release.
The Tianhe-1A supercomputer houses 7,168 Nvidia Tesla M2050 graphics chips and 14,336 Intel Xeon processors. It consumes 4.04 megawatts, and according to Nvidia, it's three times more power efficient than a CPU-only supercomputer. It would take more than 50,000 CPUs and twice as much floor space to achieve the same level of performance if using CPUs alone, the GPU maker claims.
"The performance and efficiency of Tianhe-1A was simply not possible without GPUs," said Guangming Liu, chief of National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin. "The scientific research that is now possible with a system of this scale is almost without limits; we could not be more pleased with the results."
Nvidia says the Tianhe-1A system will be operated as an open access system for large scale scientific computations.