The IBM “Sequoia” supercomputer built by the enterprise tech giant for the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration has been crowned the world’s fastest supercomputer, a distinction a U.S. supercomputer has not held since November 2009.
Currently, the IBM BlueGene/Q system is located at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California. It has achieved an awe-inspiring 16.32 petaflop per second on the Linpack benchmark. That’s 16.32 million billion (yes, million billion) calculations per second.
The Sequoia does this using 1,572,864 cores, 1.6 petaytes of memory in a configuration that takes up 96 racks with 98,304 compute nodes and 4,500 square feet of space.
The race between the world’s supercomputers is no ordinary race too. According to Ars Technica, the Linpack benchmark was ran by the Sequoia supercomputer for 23 hours straight without any core failing.
Furthermore, the system can be pushed to achieve over 20 petaflops per second. During the Top500 supercomputer test, the Sequoia was ran at just 81 percent efficiency, LLNL division leader Kim Cupps told Ars Technica.
Meanwhile, next on the list of the world’s most powerful supercomputer is the Fujitsu K Computer installed at the Riken Advanced Institute for Computational Science in Kobe, Japan. It did 10.51 petaflops per second on the Linpack benchmark using 705,024 SPARC64 processing cores. The K Computer was the top supercomputer on the Top500 list in the previous two versions of the list.
Third on the list is another IBM BlueGene/Q system, the Mira Supercomputer installed at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. This is the debut of the supercomputer which packs performance of 8.15 petaflops per second on the Linpack benchmark using its 786,432 cores.
The number four on the list is the SuperMUC, an IBM iDataplex system at the Leibniz Rechenzentrum in Germany. This is the fastest supercomputer in Europe. Rounding up the top five is the Tianhe-1A, a National University of Defense Technology-made system at the National Supercomputing Center in Taijin, China.
IBM BlueGene/Q image from IBM