FRANKFURT, Germany; BERKELEY, Calif.; and KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—The TOP500 celebrates its 25th anniversary with a major shakeup at the top of the list. For the first time since November 2012, the US claims the most powerful supercomputer in the world, leading a significant turnover in which four of the five top systems were either new or substantially upgraded.
At this month’s ISC High Performance conference, representatives from Intel, NVIDIA, Xilinx, and NEC will speak about the challenges they face as applications like machine learning and analytics are demanding greater performance at a time when CMOS technology is approaching its physical limits.
Tachyum, a Silicon Valley startup has unveiled a new processor that the company says can tackle a broad range of workloads in HPC, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and web services, while using a fraction of the power of existing chips.
A trio of UK universities will install a set of HPE Apollo 70 clusters powered by Cavium’s ThunderX2 ARM processors. The effort is part of a three-year project, known as Catalyst UK, which is evaluating the potential of ARM-based supercomputing.
After just three years in the field, the High Performance Gradients (HPCG) benchmark is emerging as the first viable new metric for the high performance computing crowd in decades. The latest HPCG list compiled last November shows 115 supercomputer entries spread across 16 countries.
Verne Global, a UK company offering Icelandic-based green datacenter services, has launched a bare metal HPC cloud offering.
Known as hpcDIRECT, the service offer customers the ability to rent HPC hardware deployed in Verne Global’s datacenter complex located in Keflavik, Iceland. The clusters are equipped with Intel Xeon Scalable processors (“Skylake”), along with Mellanox InfiniBand and Ethernet networks. Different storage options are available as well. The company says it can support “petaflops of compute,” and is suitable for typical HPC applications such as computer-aided engineering, genomic sequencing, molecular modeling, and machine learning.
The fiftieth TOP500 list of the fastest supercomputers in the world has China overtaking the US in the total number of ranked systems by a margin of 202 to 143. It is the largest number of supercomputers China has ever claimed on the TOP500 ranking, with the US presence shrinking to its lowest level since the list’s inception 25 years ago.
Over the last year, the greenest supercomputers in the world more than doubled their energy efficiency – the biggest jump since the Green500 started ranking these systems more than a decade ago. If such a pace can be maintained, exascale supercomputers operating at less than 20 MW will be possible in as little as two years. But that’s a big if.
For all the supercomputing trends revealed on recent TOP500 lists, the most worrisome is the decline in performance growth that has taken place over the over the last several years – worrisome not only because performance is the lifeblood of the HPC industry, but also because there is no definitive cause of the slowdown.