How does Ireland compare to other Top500 countries in the European Economic Area (EEA)?
As one of the smallest countries in the EEA Ireland does reasonably well compared to other small countries. OK, in terms of raw core count or list rating (see below) we rank poorly, but if you take into account our population size you’ll see we perform pretty well.
The following two bar charts show Ireland in relation to other Top500 countries. In each graph we take the largest research supercomputer in each country. While Ireland ranks at the bottom in terms of Cores and ranks the lowest in terms of List Position this should not be surprising given its size.
The Number of Cores in the largest research computer in each EEA country represented on the Top500 list. Ireland has the lowest amount of cores of all EEA countries in the Top500 list.
However, if instead of comparing raw power we weight the performance of individual supercomputers by population we see Ireland fares much better. In the next three charts we weight the RPeak, RMax and Number of Cores by the population of each country. In each case we use the largest research supercomputer in each country. Only EEA countries on the Top500 list are represented.
The RMax per capita value of the largest research supercomputer in each EEA country represented on the Top500 list.
In the per capita cases Ireland performs close to the average of EEA countries represented in the list. Ireland performs better per capita compared to the UK in all cases and comparably to other similarly sized countries like Finland. ICHEC’s newest supercomputer, Fionn, has kept Ireland in the game and only further strong investment in the future will enable Ireland to maintain its healthy ranking against other EEA countries. Since Fionn is currently ranked at number 476 (June 2014) it seems likely we will fall out of the top 500 in the next list. You have to keep accelerating to stand still in HPC!
Switzerland has the most powerful supercomputer of the EEA countries with a current (June 2014) top ranking of 6 in the list. It also has several more machines in the Top500. For a country with a population of a little over 8 million this is a remarkable achievement. Switzerland performs extremely well compared to other EEA countries with 10 times more RMax and RPeak per capita compared to the next best competitor in this case – Norway. Even in terms of Cores per capita Switzerland performs exceptionally well.