Supercomputers are used for highly calculation-intensive tasks such as problems including weather forecasting, quantum physics, oil and gas exploration, climate research, molecular modeling (computing the structures and properties of chemical compounds, biological macromolecules, polymers, and crystals), and physical simulations (such as simulation of airplanes in wind tunnels, simulation of the detonation of nuclear weapons, and research into nuclear fusion) etc.
Supercomputers were introduced in the 1960s and were designed primarily by Seymour Cray at Control Data Corporation (CDC), and later at Cray Research. While the supercomputers of the 1970s used only a few processors, in the 1990s, machines with thousands of processors began to appear and by the end of the 20th century, massively parallel supercomputers with tens of thousands of "off-the-shelf" processors were the norm.
The list below of the fastest 10 Supercomputers in the world is according to the list provided from top500.org.
No# 1: Titan - Cray XK7, Opteron 6274 16C 2.200GHz, Cray Gemini interconnect, NVIDIA K20x:
Titan is a supercomputer built by Cray at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for use in a variety of science projects. Titan is an upgrade of Jaguar, a previous supercomputer at Oak Ridge, to use graphics processing units (GPUs) in addition to conventional central processing units (CPUs), and is the first such hybrid to perform over 10 petaFLOPS. The upgrade began in October 2011, commenced stability testing in October 2012 and it became partially available to researchers in early 2013. The initial cost of the upgrade was US$60 million, funded primarily by the United States Department of Energy.
Titan has AMD Opteron CPUs in conjunction with Nvidia Tesla GPUs to improve energy efficiency while providing an order of magnitude increase in computational power over Jaguar. It uses 18,688 CPUs paired with an equal number of GPUs to perform at a theoretical peak of 27 petaFLOPS; however, in the LINPACK benchmark used to rank supercomputers' speed, it performed at 17.59 petaFLOPS. This was enough to take first place in the November 2012 list by the TOP500 organization.
No# 2: Sequoia - BlueGene/Q, Power BQC 16C 1.60 GHz, Custom:
IBM Sequoia is a petascale Blue Gene/Q supercomputer constructed by IBM for the National Nuclear Security Administration as part of the Advanced Simulation and Computing Program (ASC). It was delivered to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in 2011 and was fully deployed in June 2012. On 14 June 2012, the TOP500 Project Committee announced that Sequoia replaced the K computer as the world's fastest supercomputer, with a LINPACK performance of 16.32 petaflops, 55% faster than the K computer's 10.51 petaflops, having 123% more cores than the K computer's 705,024 cores. Sequoia is also more energy efficient, as it consumes 7.9 MW, 37% less than the K computer's 12.6 MW.
Record-breaking science applications have been run on Sequoia, the first to cross 10 petaflops of sustained performance. The cosmology simulation framework HACC achieved almost 14 petaflops with a 3.6 trillion particle benchmark run, while the Cardioid code, which models the electrophysiology of the human heart, achieved nearly 12 petaflops with a near real-time simulation. The entire supercomputer runs on Linux, with CNK running on over 98,000 nodes, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux running on 768 I/O nodes that are connected to the file system.
No# 3: K Computer - SPARC64 VIIIfx 2.0GHz, Tofu interconnect:
The K computer – named for the Japanese word "kei”, meaning 10 quadrillion (1016), is a supercomputer manufactured by Fujitsu, currently installed at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science campus in Kobe, Japan. The K computer is based on distributed memory architecture with over 80,000 computer nodes. It is used for a variety of applications, including climate research, disaster prevention and medical research.
In June 2011, TOP500 ranked K the world's fastest supercomputer, with a rating of over 8 petaflops, and in November 2011, K became the first computer to top 10 petaflops. It had originally been slated for completion in June 2012. In June 2012, K was superseded as the world's fastest supercomputer by the American IBM Sequoia.
No# 4: Mira - BlueGene/Q, Power BQC 16C 1.60GHz, Custom:
Mira is an IBM Blue Gene/Q, the third generation in a line of supercomputers that has topped the performance charts. Mira has been ranked the fourth fastest supercomputer in the world as of November 2012. Beyond providing hours of computing time, Mira itself is a stepping stone toward the next great goal of supercomputing: exascale speed, where computers will calculate quintillions of floating point operations per second. That's a thousand times faster than today's top machines. Mira will provide billions more processor-hours per year to the scientists, engineers, and researchers who use it to run complex simulations of everything from nuclear reactors to blood vessels through allocations awarded through INCITE, ALCC and Director's Discretionary programs.
Mira, the new petascale IBM Blue Gene/Q system being installed at the ALCF, will usher in a new era of scientific supercomputing. An engineering marvel, the 10-petaflops machine is capable of carrying out 10 quadrillion calculations per second. The ALCF is committed to delivering 786 million core hours on Mira in 2013. In full production mode starting in 2014, over 5 billion computing hours will be allotted to scientists each year.
No# 5: JUQUEEN - BlueGene/Q, Power BQC 16C 1.600GHz, Custom Interconnect:
The high performance Computer JUQUEEN at Forschungszentrum Juelich is the first supercomputer in Europe to reach a maximum compute performance of 5.9 Petaflop/s – equating to almost 6 quadrillion operations per second. The system opens up new possibilities for research intensive grand projects and a wider spectrum of participating work groups.
No# 6: SuperMUC - iDataPlex DX360M4, Xeon E5-2680 8C 2.70GHz, Infiniband FDR:
SuperMUC is the name of the new supercomputer at Leibniz-Rechenzentrum (Leibniz Supercomputing Centre) in Garching near Munich (the MUC suffix is borrowed from the Munich airport code). With more than 155.000 cores and a peak performance of 3 Petaflop/s, in June 2012 SuperMUC is one of the fastest supercomputers in the world.
SuperMUC strengthens the position of Germany's Gauss Centre for Supercomputing in Europe by delivering outstanding compute power and integrating it into the European High Performance Computing ecosystem. With the operation of SuperMUC, LRZ will act as an European Centre for Supercomputing and will be Tier-0 centre of PRACE, the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe. SuperMUC is available to all European researchers to expand the frontiers of science and engineering.
No# 7: Stampede - PowerEdge C8220, Xeon E5-2680 8C 2.700GHz, Infiniband FDR, Intel Xeon Phi:
Stampede is one of the largest computing systems in the world for open science research. As an NSF Track2 HPC acquisition, this system provides unprecedented computational capabilities to the national research community enabling breakthrough science that has never before been possible. The scale of Stampede delivers opportunities in computational science and technology research, from highly parallel algorithms to high-throughput computing, from scalable visualization to next generation programming languages.
Stampede systems components are connected via a fat-tree, FDR InfiniBand interconnect. One hundred and sixty compute racks house compute nodes with dual, eight-core sockets, and feature the new Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors. Additional racks house login, I/O, big-memory, and general hardware management nodes. Each compute node is provisioned with local storage. A high-speed Lustre file system is backed by 76 I/O servers. Stampede also contains 16 large memory nodes, each with 1 TB of RAM and 32 cores, and 128 standard compute nodes, each with an NVIDIA Kepler K20 GPU, giving users access to large shared-memory computing and remote visualization capabilities, respectively. Users will interact with the system via multiple dedicated login servers, and a suite of high-speed data servers. The cluster resource manager for job submission and scheduling will be SLURM (Simple Linux Utility for Resource Management).
No# 8: Tianhe-1A - NUDT YH MPP, Xeon X5670 6C 2.93 GHz, NVIDIA 2050:
Tianhe-I, Tianhe-1, or TH-1, in English, "Milky Way (literally, Sky River) Number One", is a supercomputer capable of an Rmax (maximum range) of 2.566 petaFLOPS. Located at the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin, China, it was the fastest computer in the world from October 2010 to June 2011 and is one of the few Petascale supercomputers in the world.
In October 2010, an upgraded version of the machine (Tianhe-1A) overtook ORNL's Jaguar to become the world's fastest supercomputer, with a peak computing rate of 2.507 petaFLOPS. In June 2011 the Tianhe-1A was overtaken by the K computer as the world's fastest supercomputer. Both the original Tianhe-1 and Tianhe-1A use a Linux-based operating system.
No# 9: Fermi - BlueGene/Q, Power BQC 16C 1.60GHz, Custom:
FERMI is an IBM Blue Gene/Q configured with 10.240 PowerA2 sockets running at 1.6GHz, with 16 cores each, for a total of 163.840 compute cores and a system peak performance of 2.1 PFlops. Each processor comes with 16Gbyte of RAM (1Gbyte per core). A complex I/O storage subsystem with a total capacity in the order of ten PByte and a front-end bandwidth in excess of 100 GByte/s complements the computing system.
The FERMI computing system installed at CINECA in June 2012 for the Italian and European research, in production since August 2012 and officially inaugurated by Minister Profumo in October, still among the most powerful of the world. With the investments funded by the Ministry of Education, University and Research for this system, Italy remains in the top positions of the world-class ranking list and this is a great success that confirms the lead role of CINECA as national supercomputing center serving the Italian scientific community.
No# 10: DARPA Trial Subset - Power 775, POWER7 8C 3.836GHz, Custom Interconnect:
DARPA "Defense Advanced Research Project Agency" is an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense, are involved in making new technologies for the Military. DARPA Trial subset appears as fastest Computer in the world in 2012 by their Performance speed and manufactured by IBM at the IBM Research Laboratory Engineering Development.
Some technical specifications of DARPA including, Speed: 1.515 Petaflops, Operating System: Linux, Manufacturer: IBM, Processor: Power7 8c 3.836 GHz, Cores: 63360.
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