Hardware

Supercomputer with 68,000+ CPUs is world's fastest

The Fujitsu "K computer" has 672 racks, 68,544 CPUs, and leads TOP500.Org's 37th list of world's fastest supercomputers.

According to TOP500.Org, the Fujitsu-built "K computer" in Kobe, Japan, is currently the world's fastest supercomputer. Able to complete more than 8 quadrillion calculations per second (petaflop/s), the K computer uses 672 computer racks and 68,544 SPARC64 VIIIfx CPUs--with eight cores each.

Although only the K computer is only half finished, it was able to achieve a LINPACK benchmark performance of 8.162 petaflops. When completed in 2012, the K computer will have over 800 racks, and be designed to reach 10 petaflops.

Fujitsu K computer - Credit: Fujitsu

The K Computer has nearly twice as many cores as any other supercomputer on the TOP500 list and is more powerful than the next five machines combined. It's housed at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science.

Top 10 Fastest Supercomputers

K computer rack - Credit: Fujitsu

TOP500.Org has been ranking the world's supercomputers since 1993 and updates its list supercomputers twice a year--in June and November. The following 10 systems top the organization's 37th list (released June 2011):

  1. "K computer" (RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science, Japan)
  2. Tianhe-1A (National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin, China)
  3. Jaguar (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S.)
  4. Nebulae (National Supercomputing Center, China)
  5. Tsubame 2.0 (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan)
  6. Cielo (Los Alamos National Laboratory, U.S.)
  7. Pleiades (NASA Ames Research Center, U.S.)
  8. Hopper (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center , U.S.)
  9. Tera 100 (Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives, France)
  10. Roadrunner (Los Alamos National Laboratory, U.S.)

More supercomputer resources

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

16 comments
pgit
pgit

If you think I'm going to pay one more cent in taxes before you do something about these mosquitoes, you've got another thing coming, mister!

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

The Fujitsu K computer has 672 racks, 68,544 CPUs, and leads TOP500.Org's 37th list of worlds fastest supercomputers. When fully assembled in 2012, the K computer will have over 800 racks and be designed to reach 10 petaflops. What would you do with all that computing power?

M Wagner
M Wagner

Scientific research is the only thing that such a gargantuan machine is good for. Most serious research solves large numbers of parallel equations using matrices. More CPUs, thus more cores, means larger matrices with more terms and thus greater accuracy in fixed periods of time. This kind of capacity is good for tackling problems as far flung as steller interiors codes to bomb codes, from stellar atmospheres codes to weather codes, and everything in between.

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

But then the odd are still not that good the IRS will accept them. The truth is if you have money the IRS wants it.

adun153
adun153

Calculate the environmental impact of running the whole system for a day. :D

tomsinclairjr
tomsinclairjr

If you have wealth, these supercomputers will track you and then, Obama will go after you so he can give your money to someone else. Afterall, you don't deserve it. Let's give it to the poor. They don't wanna work. So, you do the work and Obama will take care of the poor.

M Wagner
M Wagner

Ths programming language of choice is probably Fortran because it is LEAN and straightforward - remarkably well-suited to massively parallel calculations.

thanabalan
thanabalan

hahaha...good one but watchout, the birds might fly away in warp speed.... :)

seanferd
seanferd

I wasn't thinking HPC vs Linux. And UNIX, well, SysV? What flavor of Unix? It's not like different Unixes are like different Linux distros. There are others, including Unix-like OSes, and there is the option of writing their own. It's not like they'd have to build an entire server or desktop type of OS, and they did have to write chunks of the OS anyway. So do I ask such a silly question?

seanferd
seanferd

But a lot of the modeling will probably need more than Fortran. Maybe not much, but probably across the board.

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