The US now officially has the world's fastest supercomputer, knocking China off the top...


TechSpot Editor
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Following its debut at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, we knew IBM’s 200-petaflop Summit supercomputer would see the US take the top spot from China on the TOP500, a position the country has held since 2013.

Boasting 27,648 Volta Tensor Core GPUs and 9,216 CPUs within its 5,600 square feet of cabinet space, Nvidia said the machine could perform 200 quadrillion floating-point operations per second (FLOPS). It takes as much room as two tennis courts and requires as much power as a small town.

Summit moves ahead of the 93-petaflop Sunway TaihuLight to become the world’s fastest supercomputer after China’s machine held the title for two years.

Another new US entry makes its way into the number 3 position. Sierra, which is used for nuclear weapons research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, boasts a speed of 71.6 petaflops. It’s also powered by Nvidia components: 17,280 of its GPUs, to be precise.

Nvidia’s chips are also found in ABCI, Japan’s fastest system that takes the number five position; Piz Daint, the fastest supercomputer in Europe at number six; and the US Energy Department’s Titan machine, which is at number seven. Moreover, Nvidia GPUs power the world’s fastest industrial supercomputer, Italy’s Eni HPC4, which is number 13 on the list.

Additionally, Nvidia today announced the release of nine new GPU cloud computing containers to make it easier to work with deep learning frameworks.

China might not top the list anymore, but it still has more machines in the top 500 than the US—and the gap is widening. The Asian nation now has 206 systems, up from the 201 it had last November. America, meanwhile, has seen its number of TOP500 supercomputers drop from 143 to 124.

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TS Evangelist
Understandably from the past 10 years when a lot of the machines were initially built and upgraded from there hardly any are AMD based. All the top 10 bar one Opteron are Intel, IBM, Sunway and Nvidia based machines. The list is wall to wall Xeons down from there.

Potential for EPYC for make an impact over the coming years. Cray are offering AMD again 5 years after they dropped the last Opteron. At least AMD are back in the game.


TS Evangelist
The age is the difference, the USA still has more overall large computing systems then China. Most of China's systems are brand new so they make the top 500, the USA has 120 high end systems and thousands of slower/less powerful systems throughout or universities around the country that would have made the Top 500 only 10 years ago and been in the top 100 on the list. China is playing catchup in almost all major fields so the investment makes sense, this is prob around where it will top out for them, expect to see the USA making headway numbers wise over the next 5 years a lot of new upgraded systems being built/ planned right now in the America.