Chinese supercomputer ranks second worldwide

14:10, June 01, 2010      

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With a theoretical peak performance of nearly 3 petaflops, China's Nebulae supercomputer took the No. 2 spot on the 35th edition of the list of top 500 supercomputers in the world.

The Nebulae, built from a Dawning TC3600 Blade system with Intel X5650 processors and NVidia Tesla C2050 GPUs. Nebulae is currently the fastest system worldwide in terms of theoretical peak performance and using the LINPACK benchmark, it has been shown to perform at 1.3 petaflops

The newest version of the Top 500 list, which is issued twice yearly, will be formally presented on Monday, June 31, at the International Supercomputer Conference to be held in Hamburg, Germany.

Jaguar, which is located at the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, held on to the No. 1 spot with its record 1.75 petaflops performance speed using the LINPACK benchmark. Jaguar has a theoretical peak capability of 2.3 petaflops and nearly a quarter of a million cores. One petaflop refers to one quadrillion calculations per second.

Nebulae, which is located at the newly-built National Supercomputing Centre in Shenzhen, China, achieved its position in part due to its NVidia GPU accelerators. Nebulae reported the highest ever theoretical peak capability in the history of the list.

Roadrunner at Los Alamos, which became the first ever petaflop system in June 2008, dropped to No. 3 with a performance of 1.04 petaflops.

At No. 5 is the most powerful system in Europe: an IBM BlueGene/P supercomputer located at the Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ) in Germany. It achieved 825.5 teraflops on the Linpack benchmark.

Tianhe-1, meaning "River in the Sky,"installed at the National Super Computer Center in Tianjin, China, ranked at No. 7.

Tianhe-1 and Nebulae are both hybrid designs with Intel Xeon processors and AMD or NVidia GPUs used as accelerators. Each node of Tianhe-1 consists of two AMD GPUs attached to two Intel Xeon processors.

The performance of Nebulae and Tianhe-1 were enough to catapult China into the No.2 spot of installed performance, with 9.2 percent, ahead of various European countries, but still clearly behind the United States, with 55.4 percent.

By People's Daily Online/Agencies


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