We probably do just about OK.
Where do we feature on the Top500 compared to other EEA countries?
The base benchmark for measuring a supercomputers relative worth is the Top500 list. As it stands of all the countries listed below (19) only Ireland and Belgium’s top supercomputers fail to make the Top500. By that measure we do pretty badly.
How does Ireland compare in terms of raw numbers?
Similarly if we look at how Ireland compares against other countries in terms of core count or raw processing power (RMax) we similarly do fairly poorly.
In both cases (see above) we come at the bottom (RMax) or towards the bottom of the list (for the core count we are third last after Hungary and Croatia). So overall in terms of raw numbers Ireland does pretty badly. Ireland does not have a machine in the top500 and in terms of core count and processing power we are close to or at the bottom of the list.
Per Capita Ratios?
However, we should probably also take into account that Ireland has a relatively small population base compared to a lot of other countries. If instead we plot the per capita values then Ireland does do better. In the plot above Ireland of “cores per capita” Ireland does reasonably well. Still far behind Nordic levels but reasonably well. A similar plot of RMax per capita is shown below.
Overall Ireland is performing relatively poorly against its European neighbours. In terms of raw numbers Ireland sits at the bottom of almost every statistic. The per capita values are better but they disproportionately hurt the larger countries (e.g. UK, Germany, France) and don’t tell the whole story. Infact, if Ireland compares itself against countries of a similar size like Finland, Denmark and Norway, Ireland does significantly worse.