US Leads Supercomputing with #1, #2 Systems & Petascale Arm

By Tiffany Trader

November 12, 2018

The 31st Supercomputing Conference (SC) – commemorating 30 years since the first Supercomputing in 1988 – kicked off in Dallas yesterday, taking over the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center and much of the surrounding area. That means there’s another Top500 list to dive into and discuss. If you follow the space closely there were no major surprises, yet a close inspection of the list yields interesting findings and a few firsts. The United States, despite continuing to lose ground in system share, had a particularly good showing, nabbing the top two spots and standing up the world’s first petaflops Arm-powered supercomputer.

Starting from the top, DOE CORAL siblings Summit and Sierra have both upped their Linpack scores and are enjoying their number one and two spots. Built by IBM, Nvidia and Mellanox, the supercomputers entered the list six months ago with Summit taking highest honors and Sierra in third. Big sister Summit, installed at Oak Ridge, got a performance upgrade as we’d previously reported it would, climbing from 122.3 to 143.4 petaflops. It follows that Sierra, installed at number three six months ago, would likely get one as well (and it did), stepping from 71.6 to 94.6 petaflops.

Nov 2018 Top 10 – Click to Expand (Source: Top500)

Summit has also had its power efficiency optimized for the latest Linpack lineup, bumping it from 13.89 gigaflops/watts to 14.67 gigaflops/watts. Sierra didn’t include power metrics when it debuted six months ago, but now Livermore is reporting an energy efficiency of 12.72 gigaflops/watts. (We’ll look at what that means for their Green500 rankings in a moment.)

Sierra’s flops fortification was sufficient to knock China’s Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer from second to third place. Installed at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, TaihuLight debuted at the top of the June 2016 listing. It is comprised almost entirely of Chinese-made indigenous computing technologies.

Following in fourth place is China’s other mega-system, the Tianhe-2A (Milky Way-2A), which achieved 61.4 petaflops thanks to an upgrade earlier this year that swapped out 2012-era Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors with proprietary Matrix-2000 accelerators. Before the U.S. debuted Summit and Sierra in June 2018, China had enjoyed a long-running lead atop the list, and claimed both the first and second spots for three list iterations (June 2016  through November 2017).

Piz Daint, a Cray XC50 system installed at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) in Lugano, Switzerland, moves up one spot into fifth place thanks to an upgrade that increased its Linpack performance from 19.6 to 21.2 petaflops. The boost secures Piz Daint’s place as fastest European HPC system, although it would have maintained that status even without the additional cores (but just barely).

Moving up three spots into sixth position is Trinity, a Cray XC40 system operated by Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories. Trinity upped its performance from 14.1 to 20.2 petaflops. It is the only system in the top 10 to employ Intel Xeon Phi processors.

The AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure (ABCI) deployed at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan has moved down two spots into seventh position with a Linpack mark of 19.9 petaflops. Made by Fujitsu the system includes Xeon Gold processors and Nvidia Tesla V100 GPUs.

SuperMUC-NG at LRZ

Welcomed into the top 10 pack as the lone new entrant is SuperMUC-NG, in sixth position with 19.5 petaflops, provided by more than 305,000 Intel Xeon 8174 cores. This is the new fastest system in Germany, built by Lenovo and installed at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (Leibniz-Rechenzentrum) in Garching, near Munich. It is the only system in the top 10 to use Intel’s Omni-Path interconnect.

Boasting 26.9 peak petaflops when it launched (compared to Piz Daint’s 25.3), SuperMUC-NG had a shot at overtaking Piz Daint for title of fastest supercomputer on the European block. However, even if Piz Daint hadn’t have added additional cores and flops, it still would have kept its lead (with 19.59 petaflops versus SuperMUC-NG’s 19.48 petaflops).

Titan, the Cray XK7 supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, moves down three spots into ninth place. The long-running U.S. record-holder debuted on the list at number one six years ago. 18,688 AMD Opterons and 18,688 Nvidia K20X GPUs provide Titan with 17.5 petaflops of Linpack goodness.

In tenth place is Sequoia, delivering 17.2 petaflops. An IBM BlueGene/Q supercomputer, Sequoia has been a critical asset of DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory since 2011.

There are 153 new systems on the list. Lassen, in 11th place, is one of them. Lassen is an IBM Power9 System (S922LC), installed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Powered by Nvidia V100s, and networked with dual-rail Mellanox EDR Infiniband, Lassen achieves 15.4 petaflops.

New additions SuperMUC-NG and Lassen mean that NERSC’s Cori supercomputer slips from tenth to twelve position. Cori is a Cray XC40, Intel Phi-based system; it is the primary HPC resource for DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. Cori first entered the list at number five two years ago and has maintained its 14.01 Linpack petaflops.

Other notable new entrants are Taiwania 2, Electra and Eagle, ranked at 20 (9 petaflops), 33 (5.4 petaflops) and 35 (4.85 petaflops), respectively. Installed at the Taiwan National Center for High-performance Computing, Taiwania was manufactured by Quanta Computer in collaboration with Taiwan Fixed Network and ASUS Cloud, and consists of Xeon Gold 6154 processors and Nvidia Tesla V100 GPUs. Electra and Eagle are both built by HPE using Xeon Gold processors; the former is located at NASA/Ames Research Center and the latter at National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Last but not least is notable first-timer Astra, the new Arm-based HPE-built supercomputer, deployed at Sandia National Laboratories. Astra gets the claim to fame of being the first Arm-powered supercomputer to make it onto the Top500. Seeing multiple nations betting on Arm for their exascale targets well before Arm had reached petascale has struck me as risky. As large production systems like Astra in the US, Islambad in the UK and a CEA-run system in France are stood up, Arm server chips will have their proving ground. Astra leveraged 125,328 Marvell Cavium ThunderX2 cores to deliver 1.5 High Peformance Linpack petaflops. It enters the list at number 203.

The entry point for the Top100 has reached 1.97 petaflops and there are now 427 systems with performance greater than a petaflops on the list (up from 272 six months ago).

China-U.S. Standing

China continues to lead in system share, while the U.S. maintains the aggregate performance edge it regained six months ago with the entry of its first two CORAL systems. China now claims 229 systems (45.8 percent of the total), while U.S. share fell has dropped to the lowest ever: 108 systems (21.6 percent). That wide delta in system count is offset by the U.S. having the top two systems and generally operating more powerful systems (and more real HPC systems, as opposed to Web/cloud systems), allowing the U.S. to enjoy a 38 percent performance share, compared to China’s 31 percent. Related to the rise in these non-HPC systems, Gigabit Ethernet ropes together 254 systems. 275 systems on the list are tagged as industry.

Aggregate List Performance, Green500 & HPCG

The 52nd Top500 list holds a combined performance (rMax) of 1.41 exaflops. That is an 18.3 percent increase from six months ago, when the total performance of all 500 systems first crossed the exaflops barrier, amassing 1.22 exaflops of total aggregate performance. The total theoretical peak carried by the newly published list is 2.21 exaflops, up from 1.92 exaflops six months ago.

The Green500 has been integrated into the Top500 reporting process and HPCG is also included in the list now. Summit and Sierra hold the top positions on the HPCG ranking ahead of Japan’s K computer at number three. Newcomer Astra also achieved a notable HPCG result, coming in 36th on that list.

On the Green500, Summit and Sierra achieved a position of three and seven, respectively [with 14.67 gigaflops/watt and 12.72 gigaflops/watt, as reported up above].

The top two Green500 systems are Shoubu system B and DGX Saturn, ranked 374 and 373 on the Top500. Shoubu system B, made by PEZY/Exascalar and located at RIKEN, achieves 17.6 gigaflops/watt; while DGX Saturn, made by Nvidia for Nvidia, delivers 15.1 gigaflops/watt.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Better Scientific Software: Turn Your Passion into Cash

September 13, 2019

Do you know your way around scientific software and programming? You think you can contribute to the community by making scientific software better? If so, then the Better Scientific Software (BSSW) organization wants yo Read more…

By Dan Olds

Google’s ML Compiler Initiative Advances

September 12, 2019

Machine learning models running on everything from cloud platforms to mobile phones are posing new challenges for developers faced with growing tool complexity. Google’s TensorFlow team unveiled an open-source machine Read more…

By George Leopold

HPC Perspectives with Dr. Seid Koric

September 12, 2019

Brendan McGinty, director of Industry for the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, kicks off the first in a series of pieces profiling leaders in high performance computing (HPC), writing for the... Read more…

By Brendan McGinty

AWS Solution Channel

A Guide to Discovering the Best AWS Instances and Configurations for Your HPC Workload

The flexibility and heterogeneity of HPC cloud services provide a welcome contrast to the constraints of on-premises HPC. Every HPC configuration is potentially accessible to any given workload in a well-resourced cloud HPC deployment, with vast scalability to spin up as much compute as that workload demands in any given moment. Read more…

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Intel FPGAs: More Than Just an Accelerator Card

FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) acceleration cards are not new, as they’ve been commercially available since 1984. Typically, the emphasis around FPGAs has centered on the fact that they’re programmable accelerators, and that they can truly offer workload specific hardware acceleration solutions without requiring custom silicon. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Building a Solid IA for Your AI

The journey to high performance precision medicine starts with designing and deploying a solid Information Architecture that addresses the spectrum of challenges from data and applications that need to be managed and orchestrated together to empower workloads from analytics to AI. Read more…

IDAS: ‘Automagic’ HPC With Training Wheels

September 12, 2019

High-performance computing (HPC) for research is notorious for having steep barriers to entry. For this reason, high-tech disciplines were early adopters, have used the most cycles and typically drove hardware and softwa Read more…

By Elizabeth Leake

IDAS: ‘Automagic’ HPC With Training Wheels

September 12, 2019

High-performance computing (HPC) for research is notorious for having steep barriers to entry. For this reason, high-tech disciplines were early adopters, have Read more…

By Elizabeth Leake

Univa Brings Cloud Automation to Slurm Users with Navops Launch 2.0

September 11, 2019

Univa, the company behind Grid Engine, announced today its HPC cloud-automation platform NavOps Launch will support the popular open-source workload scheduler Slurm. With the release of NavOps Launch 2.0, “Slurm users will have access to the same cloud automation capabilities... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

When Dense Matrix Representations Beat Sparse

September 9, 2019

In our world filled with unintended consequences, it turns out that saving memory space to help deal with GPU limitations, knowing it introduces performance pen Read more…

By James Reinders

Eyes on the Prize: TACC’s Frontera Quickly Ramps up Science Agenda

September 9, 2019

Announced a year ago and officially launched a week ago, the Texas Advanced Computing Center’s Frontera – now the fastest academic supercomputer (~25 petefl Read more…

By John Russell

Quantum Roundup: IBM Goes to School, Delft Tackles Networking, Rigetti Updates

September 5, 2019

IBM today announced a new open source quantum ‘textbook’, a series of quantum education videos, and plans to expand its nascent quantum hackathon program. L Read more…

By John Russell

DARPA Looks to Propel Parallelism

September 4, 2019

As Moore’s law runs out of steam, new programming approaches are being pursued with the goal of greater hardware performance with less coding. The Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency is launching a new programming effort aimed at leveraging the benefits of massive distributed parallelism with less sweat. Read more…

By George Leopold

Fastest Academic Supercomputer Enters Full Production at TACC, Just in Time for Hurricane Season

September 3, 2019

Frontera, the NSF supercomputer installed at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) in June, passed its formal acceptance last week and is now officially la Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

MIT Prepares for Satori…and a New 2 Petaflops Computer Too

August 27, 2019

Sometime this fall, MIT will fire up Satori – an $11.6 million compute cluster donated by IBM and coinciding with the opening of the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzma Read more…

By John Russell

High Performance (Potato) Chips

May 5, 2006

In this article, we focus on how Procter & Gamble is using high performance computing to create some common, everyday supermarket products. Tom Lange, a 27-year veteran of the company, tells us how P&G models products, processes and production systems for the betterment of consumer package goods. Read more…

By Michael Feldman

Supercomputer-Powered AI Tackles a Key Fusion Energy Challenge

August 7, 2019

Fusion energy is the Holy Grail of the energy world: low-radioactivity, low-waste, zero-carbon, high-output nuclear power that can run on hydrogen or lithium. T Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

AMD Verifies Its Largest 7nm Chip Design in Ten Hours

June 5, 2019

AMD announced last week that its engineers had successfully executed the first physical verification of its largest 7nm chip design – in just ten hours. The AMD Radeon Instinct Vega20 – which boasts 13.2 billion transistors – was tested using a TSMC-certified Calibre nmDRC software platform from Mentor. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

TSMC and Samsung Moving to 5nm; Whither Moore’s Law?

June 12, 2019

With reports that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TMSC) and Samsung are moving quickly to 5nm manufacturing, it’s a good time to again ponder whither goes the venerable Moore’s law. Shrinking feature size has of course been the primary hallmark of achieving Moore’s law... Read more…

By John Russell

DARPA Looks to Propel Parallelism

September 4, 2019

As Moore’s law runs out of steam, new programming approaches are being pursued with the goal of greater hardware performance with less coding. The Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency is launching a new programming effort aimed at leveraging the benefits of massive distributed parallelism with less sweat. Read more…

By George Leopold

Cray Wins NNSA-Livermore ‘El Capitan’ Exascale Contract

August 13, 2019

Cray has won the bid to build the first exascale supercomputer for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laborator Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Launches Epyc Rome, First 7nm CPU

August 8, 2019

From a gala event at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco yesterday (Aug. 7), AMD launched its second-generation Epyc Rome x86 chips, based on its 7nm proce Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Embraces Arm, Declares Intent to Accelerate All CPU Architectures

June 17, 2019

As the Top500 list was being announced at ISC in Frankfurt today with an upgraded petascale Arm supercomputer in the top third of the list, Nvidia announced its Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

ISC 2019 Virtual Booth Video Tour

CRAY
CRAY
DDN
DDN
DELL EMC
DELL EMC
GOOGLE
GOOGLE
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
PANASAS
PANASAS
VERNE GLOBAL
VERNE GLOBAL

Ayar Labs to Demo Photonics Chiplet in FPGA Package at Hot Chips

August 19, 2019

Silicon startup Ayar Labs continues to gain momentum with its DARPA-backed optical chiplet technology that puts advanced electronics and optics on the same chip Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Top500 Purely Petaflops; US Maintains Performance Lead

June 17, 2019

With the kick-off of the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) in Frankfurt this morning, the 53rd Top500 list made its debut, and this one's for petafl Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Hardware That Powered the Black Hole Image

June 24, 2019

Two months ago, the first-ever image of a black hole took the internet by storm. A team of scientists took years to produce and verify the striking image – an Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Cray – and the Cray Brand – to Be Positioned at Tip of HPE’s HPC Spear

May 22, 2019

More so than with most acquisitions of this kind, HPE’s purchase of Cray for $1.3 billion, announced last week, seems to have elements of that overused, often Read more…

By Doug Black and Tiffany Trader

Chinese Company Sugon Placed on US ‘Entity List’ After Strong Showing at International Supercomputing Conference

June 26, 2019

After more than a decade of advancing its supercomputing prowess, operating the world’s most powerful supercomputer from June 2013 to June 2018, China is keep Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Qualcomm Invests in RISC-V Startup SiFive

June 7, 2019

Investors are zeroing in on the open standard RISC-V instruction set architecture and the processor intellectual property being developed by a batch of high-flying chip startups. Last fall, Esperanto Technologies announced a $58 million funding round. Read more…

By George Leopold

Intel Confirms Retreat on Omni-Path

August 1, 2019

Intel Corp.’s plans to make a big splash in the network fabric market for linking HPC and other workloads has apparently belly-flopped. The chipmaker confirmed to us the outlines of an earlier report by the website CRN that it has jettisoned plans for a second-generation version of its Omni-Path interconnect... Read more…

By Staff report

Intel Debuts Pohoiki Beach, Its 8M Neuron Neuromorphic Development System

July 17, 2019

Neuromorphic computing has received less fanfare of late than quantum computing whose mystery has captured public attention and which seems to have generated mo Read more…

By John Russell

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This