Most powerful supercomputers in the world in 2024

The most powerful supercomputer in the world can perform more than a quintillion calculations per second. That’s a billion billion — a one followed by 18 zeros.

Supercomputers deliver a high level of performance compared to general-purpose computers.

They serve a variety of uses and fields, including quantum mechanics, weather forecasting, climate research, and running intensive simulations.

The first successful supercomputer was the CDC 6600, released in 1964 and designed by Seymour Cray at the Control Data Corporation.

It could perform three million operations per second, three hundred and thirty-three billion times slower than the world’s current number one.

This is according to the Top500 rankings, which bi-annually rank the most powerful non-commercial computers in the world according to the HPL benchmark.

HPL is a High-Performance Linpack benchmark whereby computers are tasked with solving a dense system of linear equations.

Top500 notes that “this performance does not reflect the overall performance of a given system, as no single number ever can.”

All of the computers on this list are capable of petascale computing, which means their performance can be measured in petaflops or 10¹⁵ floating point operations per second (flops).

The top two, however, are capable of exascale computing, meaning they are measured in exaflops or 10¹⁸ flops.

Because these supercomputers can perform at this level, they consume a high amount of power.

The most power-intensive computer in the top ten requires 38,698 kW of power to operate, equivalent to 5,528 electric vehicles being charged at once.

Below are the world’s top supercomputers, appearing on the 63rd edition of the Top500 list of most powerful supercomputers as of November 2023.

Frontier

Frontier Supercomputer. Credit: OLCF at ORNL

The Frontier is housed in the Oak Ridge National Library in Tennessee. It is used for tasks related to the library’s research fields, including artificial intelligence, quantum science, and data science.

Manufactured by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), the computer runs on the HPE Cray EX235A operating system.

It has 8,699,904 cores and uses the AMD Optimised 3rd Generation EPYC 64C 2GHz processor.

Performance-wise, it ha a theoretical peak speed of 1.714 exaflops, and its power consumption is 22,786 kW.

Aurora

Aurora Supercomputer. Credit: Intel

The Aurora supercomputer, owned by the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, is the second and only other exascale computer on the Top 500 list.

It was only recently installed, and the Argonne National Laboratory says it is still being tested. However, due to its advanced capabilities, it will be used for artificial intelligence-driven research.

Aurora has 9,264,128 cores, roughly 500,000 more than the Frontier. Although it has a higher theoretical peak speed at 1.98 exaflops, its maximum Linpack performance was slower than the Frontier at 1.012 exaflops.

The supercomputer runs on the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP4 operating system and uses Xeon CPU Max 9470 52C 2.4GHz processors.

Its power consumption is 38,698.36 kW.

Eagle

Part of one of Eagle’s nodes. Photo credit: Glenn K. Lockwood

Microsoft Azure’s Eagle is described by its creator as a cloud supercomputer comprising 14,400 Nvidia H100 GPUs — Nvidia’s second-latest flagship chip for AI computing.

It consists of 2,073,600 cores and has a theoretical peak performance of 846.84 petaflops.

The Eagle supercomputer runs on Ubuntu 22.04.

Supercomputer Fugaku

Fugaku
Supercomputer Fugaku

The Supercomputer Fugaku, manufactured by public sector IT service provider Fujitsu, maintained the number one spot for two years before being knocked to second by the Frontier in 2022.

Supercomputer Fugaku was installed in 2020 with 7,630,848 cores and requires 29,899.23 kW of power.

It runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and has theoretical peak performance of 537.21 petaflops.

It consumes 29,899kW of power.

Top 10 most powerful supercomputers in the world

The table below summarises the top ten supercomputers according to the latest Top500 rankings.

Supercomputer Manufacturer Cores Rmax (PFlop/s) Rpeak (PFlop/s)
Frontier HPE 8,699,904 1,206.00 1,714.81
Aurora Intel 9,264,128 1,012.00 1,980.01
Eagle Microsft Azure 2,073,600 561.20 846.84
Supercomputer Fugaku Fujitsu 7,630,848 442.01 537.21
LUMI HPE 2,752,704 379.70 531.51
Alps HPE 1,305,600 270.00 353.75
Leonardo EVIDEN 1,824,768 241.20 306.31
MareNostrum 5 ACC EVIDEN 663,040 175.30 249.44
Summit IBM 2,414,592 148.60 200.79
Eos NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD Nvidia 485,888 121.40 188.65

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Most powerful supercomputers in the world in 2024