MANNHEIM, Germany; BERKELEY, Calif.; and KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—Advanced reports that Oak Ridge National Laboratory was fielding the world’s fastest supercomputer were proven correct when the 40th edition of the twice-yearly TOP500 List of the world’s top supercomputers was released today (Nov. 12, 2012). Titan, a Cray XK7 system installed at Oak Ridge, achieved 17.59 Petaflop/s (quadrillions of calculations per second) on the Linpack benchmark. Titan has 560,640 processors, including 261,632 NVIDIA K20x accelerator cores.
Do you remember the machine that took the first No. 1 position when the list debuted way back in 1993? Or how many consecutive lists were topped by the Earth Simulator? And when did Roadrunner make it into first place?
The back to school season starts with many new processors, although IBM's large server chips probably don't have much to do with the end of the holidays. And there are going to be a few delays – maybe with AMD's Steamroller and for sure with HP's memristor.
Erich Strohmaier, a founding editor of the TOP500 list and leader of Future Technologies Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has written a cover story for Scientific Computing magazine on how the twice-yearly TOP500 list of the world’s top supercomputers provides a good look at the state of HPC technology.