Tianhe-2 (Milky Way-2), a system developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) and to be deployed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzho, China remains the No. 1 system with 33.86 petaflop/s on the Linpack benchmark. The system currently has 16,000 nodes each with two Intel Xeon Ivy Bridge processors and three Xeon Phi processors for a combined total of 3,120,000 computing cores. It features a number of Chinese-developed components, including the TH Express-2 interconnect network, front-end processors, operating system, and software tools. The Tianhe-2 uses the Kylin Linux operating system. Officially approved for use in 2006, Kylin was developed by the National University for Defense Technology, is compatible with other mainstream operating systems, and supports multiple microprocessors and computers of different architectures. In addition, NUDT developed OpenMC, a directive-based, intra-node programming model, similar to Open-MP and either CUDA, OpenACC, or OpenCL. The Tianhe-2 has a front-end system composed of 4,096 Galaxy FT-1500 CPUs, designed and developed at NUDT. The FT-1500 is 16 cores and based on SparcV9. Its performance is 144 Gflop/s and each chip runs at 65 watts. By comparison the Intel Ivy Bridge has 12 cores with a peak performance of 211 Gflop/s. The power consumption of Tianhe-2 while running Linpack was 17.8 MW.
The first version of what became today’s TOP500 list started as an exercise for a small conference in Germany in June 1993. Out of curiosity, the authors decided to revisit the list in November 1993 to see how things had changed. About that time they realized they might be on to something and decided to continue compiling the list, which is now a much-anticipated, much-watched and much-debated twice-yearly event.
The TOP500 list is compiled by Hans Meuer of the University of Mannheim, Germany; Erich Strohmaier and Horst Simon of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.