Fastest supercomputer in the world named

Thanks to a rebuild, the world’s top supercomputer is more than four times as powerful than its nearest rival.

The K Computer from Japan, which operates at more than 10 petaflops per second, has again topped the bi-annual Top500 list of the world’s top supercomputers.

The K Computer is made up of 705,024 SPARC64 processors and recorded a peak performance of 10.51 petaflop/s, or 10 quadrillion calculations per second in tests. The K Computer previously recorded a top speed of 8.16 petaflop/s to take the top spot in the June 2011 release of the Top 500 list.

In second place in the November Top500 list is still the Chinese made Tianhe-1A system which returned a relatively measly top speed of 2.57 petaflop/s. A year ago that performance was enough to guarantee the Chinese supercomputer the top spot on the Top500.

K computer - Fujitsu
K computer - Fujitsu

39 systems in this release use GPUs (graphical processing units) compared with 17 systems six months ago. 35 of these use Nvidia chips.

More than half (62%) of the systems in the Top500 now use processors with six or more cores.

The dominant processor maker is still Intel with 76.8% of the Top500 systems. AMD is in second place with 12.6% and IBM Power processors account for 9.85% of the Top500.

The entry level to be included in the Top500 list continues to climb and now sits at 50.9 teraflop/s. Six months ago 39.1 teraflop/s was adequate to secure a place in the Top500.

On the hardware front IBM retained its lead, accounting for 223 of the Top500 systems. HP held onto second place with 141 systems.

Linux continues to dominate supercomputing and is used exclusively in 457 (91.4%) of the Top500 systems.

Unix variants account for 23 of the remaining systems and there are 15 mixed OS environments in the list.

Four Windows-based systems made the Top500 and 1 BSD-based system rounded out the Top500.

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Fastest supercomputer in the world named