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.
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
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):
- "K computer" (RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science, Japan)
- Tianhe-1A (National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin, China)
- Jaguar (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S.)
- Nebulae (National Supercomputing Center, China)
- Tsubame 2.0 (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan)
- Cielo (Los Alamos National Laboratory, U.S.)
- Pleiades (NASA Ames Research Center, U.S.)
- Hopper (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center , U.S.)
- Tera 100 (Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives, France)
- Roadrunner (Los Alamos National Laboratory, U.S.)
More supercomputer resources
- TOP500 lists the world's fastest supercomputers - Summer 2010 (TechRepublic)
- Japanese supercomputer is fastest in the world (CNET)
- China builds world's fastest supercomputer (ZDNet UK)
- The 80's supercomputer that's sitting in your lap (TechRepublic)
- Inside NASA's world-class supercomputer center (TechRepublic)
- IBM's Watson victorious in Jeopardy; Our new computer overlord? (ZDNet)
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. He was most recently Managing Editor for TechRepublic Pro. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.