93 Petaflops for China, and 1 for Ireland too

The 47th Top500 supercomputer list was released on June 20 revealing a brand-new and 100% indigenous 93 petaflop Chinese number one. The Sunway TaihuLight is three times faster than the long-reigning but now number two Tianhe-2. It has a total of 10,649,600 (yes, ten million) computing cores (or, it did when they turned it on – with that many cores a failure can’t be that far off) and comprising 40,960 nodes. The new machine, surprisingly to many, is proof of two things: China does not need western hardware to compete in supercomputing, and as a community the road to exascale is already 10% paved.  More information on the Sunway TaihuLight is available here in a report by Jack Dongarra.

The latest Top500 is also the first time ever that the U.S is not home to the largest number of supercomputers. China now claims 167 systems with the U.S. a close second with 165. China also leads in the performance category, thanks to the No. 1 and No. 2 systems.

Meanwhile on the old sod, The latest Top500 has bestowed about a petaflop on the Emerald Isle, in the form of machines 357, 453, and 454, better known as machines 1, 2 and 3 on the 6th Irish Supercomputer List. All three are owned by the anonymous ‘Software Company M‘ who back in 2013 also had a Top-500 class machine that debuted at number 2 on the first Irish Supercomputer List. These three machines combined have a performance of 981 Teraflop/s, nearly 1.5 times the combined power of all 28 machines on the December 2015 list. The result is a more than doubling of Ireland’s total HPC output. Combined, all machines on the Irish Supercomputer List now have a total processing power of 1.42Petaflop/s (Petaflops).

Additionally, this new power results in Ireland ranking at #2 in the world in terms of number of Top500 systems per capita, and #11 in the world in terms of computing capacity (Rmax) per capita.

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