Top500 Trends: Movement on Top, but Record Low Turnover

By Tiffany Trader

June 25, 2020

The 55th installment of the Top500 list saw strong activity in the leadership segment with four new systems in the top ten and a crowning achievement from the first number-one Arm-based machine, Fugaku (Riken/Fujitsu), however overall the list suffered a record low refresh rate.

Only 51 systems fell off the list this cycle (dipping below the list’s entry point of 1.23 petaflops). That’s the lowest replacement rate the project has seen since its start in 1993, according to Top500 co-author Erich Strohmaier.

Delivering the livestreamed Top500 session on Monday as part of the ISC 2020 proceedings, Strohmaier cited two reasons for the drop off in the refresh rate. “One, we have seen for the last five years reduced turnover in general, as people upgrade less frequently and then upgrade to larger systems, an effect of Dennard scaling breaking down and of progress and chip performance being much slower than it used to be.”

The second is the impact of the COVID-19 crisis with installations that have been delayed, or even canceled. “It’s hard for us to tell which one is what, presumably or hopefully it’s only a delay, and we might catch up in the future again, but we have to see about that. So we have a record low replacement rate,” he said.

That however, said Strohmaier, has not changed another observed trend of the last two decades, which is the increase in accumulation of performance at the top of the list with spending increasingly skewed towards the high-end.

Performance fraction of Top500 systems (source: Top500)

This chart, presented by Strohmaier, shows the performance of the number-one machines relative to the average of all 500, since the list’s inception twenty-seven years ago. The new number-one machine, Fugaku — benchmarked at 415.5 petaflops — leads the pack, contributing a record 18.7 percent of aggregate performance.

The accomplishment propels Japan into third place by installed performance (23.7 percent), just behind China (25.5 percent). The U.S. maintains its lead with 28.7 percent. Fujitsu, while occupying just 2.6 percent of the list by system share, leads on sheer flops with a 21.5 percent share, ahead of Lenovo (16 percent) and IBM (16 percent).

June 2020 top 100 research systems by chip architecture – aggregate performance share (source: Top500)

Segmenting the list by the top 100 research systems, the Arm architecture, which only entered the list a year-and-a-half ago, now dominates with a 31 percent performance share, in front of Power/Nvidia (21 percent) and Intel (17 percent).

Likewise Japan also reigns in the top 100 research machine slice with 33 percent, edging out the US (32 percent) and China (12 percent).

The 55th Top500 list may have a record low replacement rate, but with four new systems in the top ten, the turnover at the high-end is up again after a period of very low churn. Six months ago, there were no new machines in the top ten, and the only new entrants in the top 20 were slide-ups due to attrition (Japan’s K computer was decommissioned as was ORNL’s Titan).

Entering the top ten on the new list are:

The labels for the right-most columns are HPL (petaflops) and power (MW). Fugaku: 415.5 petaflops, 28.3 MW (Source: Top500, June 2020)

Fugaku. The new number one machine with 415.5 petaflops, Fugaku is powered by Fujitsu’s 48-core A64FX SoC. It is only the fourth Arm machine ever on the list and the first to grace the number one spot. In fact Fugaku — installed at RIKEN-CCS in Japan — swept top honors not only in High Performance Linpack (HPL), it also set records in HPCG, Graph500 and the new HPL-AI benchmark. Fugaku can also be found in the upper echelon of the Green500, coming in ninth with 14.67 gigaflops-per-watt.

HPC5. Manufactured by Dell and deployed by Italian energy firm Eni S.p.A , HPC5 delivered a Linpack rating of 35.5 petaflops. That makes it the fastest system in Europe and the fastest industry supercomputer. Energy-sector supers keep climbing in the supercomputing ranks, and HPC5 is the first such system to break into the top ten fold.

Selene. Sliding in at number seven with 27.58 HPL petaflops is another industry supercomputer, albeit of the tech industry. Made by and for Nvidia, Selene is an in-house asset for hardware design, model building and other projects. Based in the U.S., Selene is a DGX SuperPOD, powered by Ampere A100 GPUs and AMD’s Epyc Rome CPUs. The system commandeered a second-place ranking on the Green500, delivering 20.51 gigaflops-per-watt of performance.

Marconi-100. Turning in a Linpack score of 21.6 petaflops qualifies Marconi-100 for a ninth-place spot. Installed at the CINECA research center, Marconi was built by IBM with a combination of IBM Power9 processors and Nvidia V100 GPUs. Marconi-100 is purported to be largest academic supercomputer in Italy and in Europe.

And… the fifth new highest-ranked entrant to the list — Gadi — comes in at number 25 with 9.3 Linpack petaflops. Built by Fujitsu in partnership with Lenovo and installed at NCI Australia, Gadi is powered by Intel Xeon Cascade Lake processors and Nvidia V100 GPUs. Gadi is the most powerful supercomputer in the Southern Hemisphere.

This is the first list to cross an exaflops of HPL performance solely owing to the top 100 systems. The previous list (November, 2019) nearly crossed this threshold but fell just shy at 989 petaflops. Currently, the top 100 machines contribute 1.5 exaflops to the list with .4 of those, of course, coming from Fugaku. The top ten systems alone amass 942.6 petaflops.

The aggregate Linpack performance provided by all 500 systems is 2.22 exaflops, up from 1.65 exaflops six months ago. The Linpack efficiency of the entire list is up more than 3 points: 63.6 percent compared with 60.0 percent six months ago. In the same period, the Linpack efficiency of the top 100 segment ticked up from 68.1 percent to 71.3 percent. The number one system, Fugaku, delivers a healthy computing efficiency of 80.87 percent.

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!

Global QC Market Projected to Grow to More Than $800 million by 2024

September 28, 2020

The Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C) and Hyperion Research are projecting that the global quantum computing (QC) market - worth an estimated $320 million in 2020 - will grow at an anticipated 27% CAGR betw Read more…

By Staff Reports

DoE’s ASCAC Backs AI for Science Program that Emulates the Exascale Initiative

September 28, 2020

Roughly a year after beginning formal efforts to explore an AI for Science initiative the Department of Energy’s Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee last week accepted a subcommittee report calling for a t Read more…

By John Russell

Supercomputer Research Aims to Supercharge COVID-19 Antiviral Remdesivir

September 25, 2020

Remdesivir is one of a handful of therapeutic antiviral drugs that have been proven to improve outcomes for COVID-19 patients, and as such, is a crucial weapon in the fight against the pandemic – especially in the abse Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

NOAA Announces Major Upgrade to Ensemble Forecast Model, Extends Range to 35 Days

September 23, 2020

A bit over a year ago, the United States’ Global Forecast System (GFS) received a major upgrade: a new dynamical core – its first in 40 years – called the finite-volume cubed-sphere, or FV3. Now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is bringing the FV3 dynamical core to... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

AI Silicon Startup Graphcore Launches Channel Partner Program

September 23, 2020

AI compute platform vendor Graphcore has launched its first formal global channel partner program to promote and boost the sales of its AI processors and blade computing products. The formalized, all-new Graphcore Elite Partner Program follows the company’s past history of working with several... Read more…

By Todd R. Weiss

AWS Solution Channel

The Water Institute of the Gulf runs compute-heavy storm surge and wave simulations on AWS

The Water Institute of the Gulf (Water Institute) runs its storm surge and wave analysis models on Amazon Web Services (AWS)—a task that sometimes requires large bursts of compute power. Read more…

Intel® HPC + AI Pavilion

Berlin Institute of Health: Putting HPC to Work for the World

Researchers from the Center for Digital Health at the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) are using science to understand the pathophysiology of COVID-19, which can help to inform the development of targeted treatments. Read more…

Arm Targets HPC with New Neoverse Platforms

September 22, 2020

UK-based semiconductor design company Arm today teased details of its Neoverse roadmap, introducing V1 (codenamed Zeus) and N2 (codenamed Perseus), Arm’s second generation N-series platform. The chip IP vendor said the new platforms will deliver 50 percent and 40 percent more... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

DoE’s ASCAC Backs AI for Science Program that Emulates the Exascale Initiative

September 28, 2020

Roughly a year after beginning formal efforts to explore an AI for Science initiative the Department of Energy’s Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Commit Read more…

By John Russell

NOAA Announces Major Upgrade to Ensemble Forecast Model, Extends Range to 35 Days

September 23, 2020

A bit over a year ago, the United States’ Global Forecast System (GFS) received a major upgrade: a new dynamical core – its first in 40 years – called the finite-volume cubed-sphere, or FV3. Now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is bringing the FV3 dynamical core to... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Arm Targets HPC with New Neoverse Platforms

September 22, 2020

UK-based semiconductor design company Arm today teased details of its Neoverse roadmap, introducing V1 (codenamed Zeus) and N2 (codenamed Perseus), Arm’s second generation N-series platform. The chip IP vendor said the new platforms will deliver 50 percent and 40 percent more... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Oracle Cloud Deepens HPC Embrace with Launch of A100 Instances, Plans for Arm, More 

September 22, 2020

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) continued its steady ramp-up of HPC capabilities today with a flurry of announcements. Topping the list is general availabilit Read more…

By John Russell

European Commission Declares €8 Billion Investment in Supercomputing

September 18, 2020

Just under two years ago, the European Commission formalized the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (JU): a concerted HPC effort (comprising 32 participating states at c Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Google Hires Longtime Intel Exec Bill Magro to Lead HPC Strategy

September 18, 2020

In a sign of the times, another prominent HPCer has made a move to a hyperscaler. Longtime Intel executive Bill Magro joined Google as chief technologist for hi Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Future of Fintech on Display at HPC + AI Wall Street

September 17, 2020

Those who tuned in for Tuesday's HPC + AI Wall Street event got a peak at the future of fintech and lively discussion of topics like blockchain, AI for risk man Read more…

By Alex Woodie, Tiffany Trader and Todd R. Weiss

IBM’s Quantum Race to One Million Qubits

September 15, 2020

IBM today outlined its ambitious quantum computing technology roadmap at its virtual Quantum Summit. The eye-popping million qubit number is still far out, agrees IBM, but perhaps not that far out. Just as eye-popping is IBM’s nearer-term plan for a 1,000-plus qubit system named Condor... Read more…

By John Russell

Supercomputer-Powered Research Uncovers Signs of ‘Bradykinin Storm’ That May Explain COVID-19 Symptoms

July 28, 2020

Doctors and medical researchers have struggled to pinpoint – let alone explain – the deluge of symptoms induced by COVID-19 infections in patients, and what Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Nvidia Said to Be Close on Arm Deal

August 3, 2020

GPU leader Nvidia Corp. is in talks to buy U.K. chip designer Arm from parent company Softbank, according to several reports over the weekend. If consummated Read more…

By George Leopold

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

By Doug Black

Intel’s 7nm Slip Raises Questions About Ponte Vecchio GPU, Aurora Supercomputer

July 30, 2020

During its second-quarter earnings call, Intel announced a one-year delay of its 7nm process technology, which it says it will create an approximate six-month shift for its CPU product timing relative to prior expectations. The primary issue is a defect mode in the 7nm process that resulted in yield degradation... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Hires Longtime Intel Exec Bill Magro to Lead HPC Strategy

September 18, 2020

In a sign of the times, another prominent HPCer has made a move to a hyperscaler. Longtime Intel executive Bill Magro joined Google as chief technologist for hi Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Keeps Cray Brand Promise, Reveals HPE Cray Supercomputing Line

August 4, 2020

The HPC community, ever-affectionate toward Cray and its eponymous founder, can breathe a (virtual) sigh of relief. The Cray brand will live on, encompassing th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Neocortex Will Be First-of-Its-Kind 800,000-Core AI Supercomputer

June 9, 2020

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC - a joint research organization of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh) has won a $5 million award Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

European Commission Declares €8 Billion Investment in Supercomputing

September 18, 2020

Just under two years ago, the European Commission formalized the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (JU): a concerted HPC effort (comprising 32 participating states at c Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Powers Fugaku’s Storage, Scores IO500 Win

August 28, 2020

In June, RIKEN shook the supercomputing world with its Arm-based, Fujitsu-built juggernaut: Fugaku. The system, which weighs in at 415.5 Linpack petaflops, topp Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Google Cloud Debuts 16-GPU Ampere A100 Instances

July 7, 2020

On the heels of the Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU launch in May, Google Cloud is announcing alpha availability of the A100 “Accelerator Optimized” VM A2 instance family on Google Compute Engine. The instances are powered by the HGX A100 16-GPU platform, which combines two HGX A100 8-GPU baseboards using... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

DOD Orders Two AI-Focused Supercomputers from Liqid

August 24, 2020

The U.S. Department of Defense is making a big investment in data analytics and AI computing with the procurement of two HPC systems that will provide the High Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Supercomputer Modeling Tests How COVID-19 Spreads in Grocery Stores

April 8, 2020

In the COVID-19 era, many people are treating simple activities like getting gas or groceries with caution as they try to heed social distancing mandates and protect their own health. Still, significant uncertainty surrounds the relative risk of different activities, and conflicting information is prevalent. A team of Finnish researchers set out to address some of these uncertainties by... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Microsoft Azure Adds A100 GPU Instances for ‘Supercomputer-Class AI’ in the Cloud

August 19, 2020

Microsoft Azure continues to infuse its cloud platform with HPC- and AI-directed technologies. Today the cloud services purveyor announced a new virtual machine Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Japan’s Fugaku Tops Global Supercomputing Rankings

June 22, 2020

A new Top500 champ was unveiled today. Supercomputer Fugaku, the pride of Japan and the namesake of Mount Fuji, vaulted to the top of the 55th edition of the To Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Joliot-Curie Supercomputer Used to Build First Full, High-Fidelity Aircraft Engine Simulation

July 14, 2020

When industrial designers plan the design of a new element of a vehicle’s propulsion or exterior, they typically use fluid dynamics to optimize airflow and in Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Intel Speeds NAMD by 1.8x: Saves Xeon Processor Users Millions of Compute Hours

August 12, 2020

Potentially saving datacenters millions of CPU node hours, Intel and the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (UIUC) have collaborated to develop AVX-512 optimizations for the NAMD scalable molecular dynamics code. These optimizations will be incorporated into release 2.15 with patches available for earlier versions. Read more…

By Rob Farber

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