Top 10 Most Powerful Supercomputers in the world (Updated)

Sunway TaihuLight, tops chinese and world supercomputers list

Updated on 14/07/17 to conform to most recent classification. 

Originally posted on 02/04/17

This is a follow-up from the previous post. After seeing how powerful a supercomputer is, we now find out which are the 10 most powerful in the world. There are hundreds of supercomputers in active use around the world. But the formidable computational power of 10 of them call for special attention. We’ll look at their performance, properties, location, constructor (s), memory, storage and more.
This classification is based on Top500’s November 2016 list and will be updated accordingly.

1.Sunway TaihuLight

Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer, tops chinese and world supercomputers list, Nov 2016
Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer at National Supercomputer Center in Wuxi, China

The Sunway TaihuLight is a Chinese built supercomputer. The machine houses a total of 40,960 Chinese-designed SW26010 many core 64-bit RISC processors based on the Sunway architecture. With each processor chip containing 256 processing cores, we arrive at a grand total of 10,649,600 CPU cores for this Zeus of supercomputers. The Sunway TaihuLight is almost 3 times faster than its direct follower (Tianhe-2). Learn more.

Active since: June 2016
Location: National Supercomputer Center, Wuxi, China
Manufacturer: National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology (NRCPC)
Processing Cores: 10,649,600 (40,960 processor chips of 256 cores each)
Performance: 93.014 PFLOPS
Memory: 1,310,720 GB
Storage: 20PB
Operating system: Linux based Sunway RaiseOS 2.0.5
Power: 15.371 MW
Purpose: Oil prospecting, life sciences, weather forecast, industrial design, drug research
Cost: $273 million                                                                                                                                                          

2. Tianhe-2 (Milky Way 2)

tianhe-2 supercomputer
Tianhe-2 supercomputer at National Supercomputer Center, Guangzhou, China

If the Sunway TaihuLight is king of supercomputers, the Tianhe-2 is chief of the army. It was the world’s fastest machine for about 3 years (2013-2016). Sponsored by the Chinese government’s 863 High Technology Program and the government of Guangdong province, it was built by China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) in collaboration with the Chinese IT firm Inspur. Learn more.

Active since: June 2013
Location: National Supercomputer Center, Guangzhou, China
Manufacturer: NUDT in collaboration with Inspur
Processing cores: 3,120,000
Performance: 33.862 PFLOPS
Memory: 1,024,000 GB
Storage: 12.4 PB
Operating system: Kylin Linux
Power: 17.808 MW
Purpose: Simulation, analysis, and government security applications.
Cost: US$390 million

2. Piz Daint

The Piz Daint is a Cray XC30 supercomputer at the Swiss National Supercomputing center. Since late 2016, the machine has undergone a hardware upgrade from Cary XC30 to a Cray XC40/XC50. After the CHF 40 million upgrade, the Piz Daint moved from the 8th to the 3rd position in this list. While moving up as the third most powerful supercomputer in the world, it also confirms its position as Europes most powerful supercomputer. Learn more.

Active since: December 2012
Location: Swiss National Supercomputing Centre, Switzerland
Manufacturer: Cray Inc.
Processing Cores: 361,760
Performance: 19.590 PFLOPS
Memory: 340,480 GB
Storage: 6.2 PB
Operating system: Cray Linux Environment
Power: 1.631MW
Purpose: Weather forecasting, Scientific research
Upgrade Cost: CHF 40 million

4. Titan Supercomputer

Titan supercomputer, tops US supercomputers list Nov 2016
Titan supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States

The Titan is the result of 3 years, US$60 million upgrade of the Jaguar supercomputer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the US. It is a hybrid machine that uses AMD Opteron CPUs together with Nvidia Tesla GPUs. The US Department of Energy funded upgrade was enough to make Titan the most powerful supercomputer in the world for about 6 months before being dethroned by the Tianhe-2. Learn more.

Active since: October 2012
Location: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, United States
Manufacturer: Cray Inc.
Processing Cores: 560,640
Performance: 17.590 PFLOPS.
Memory: 710,144 GB
Storage: 40 PB
Operating system: Cray Linux Environment
Power: 8.209 MW
Purpose: Simulations in molecular physics, energy, activity, and interaction between electrons and atoms, atmosphere modeling.
Cost: US$97 million

5. Sequoia

Sequioa supercomputer
Sequoia supercomputer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, United States

This supercomputer is the top of IBM built supercomputers but is only fourth in the global scene. It was built for the US National Nuclear Security Administration. It was delivered to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in 2011 and put into full service in 2012. The Sequoia was world number one for a few months replacing the K computer. Learn more.

Active since: June 2012
Location: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, United States
Manufacturer: IBM
Processing Cores: 1,572,864
Performance: 17.173 PFLOPS
Memory:1,572,864 GB
Storage: – –
Operating system: Linux (Compute Node Kernel, Red Hat Enterprise Linux)
Power: 7.890 MW
Purpose: Nuclear weapons, astronomy, energy, human genome, and climate change
Cost: US$250 million

6. Cori supercomputer

Cori supercomputer
Cori supercomputer at National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, United States

The Cori supercomputer is a Cray XC40 type supercomputer built for the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center in the United States. The computer is named after Americas’s first female science Nobel laureate Gerty Cori. Learn more.

Active since: 2016
Location: National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, United States
Manufacturer: Cray Inc.
Processing Cores: 622,336 cores
Performance: 14.014 PFLOPS
Memory: 878,592 GB
Storage: 30 PB
Operating system: Cray Linux Environment
Power: 3.939 MW
Purpose: climate modeling, biology, environmental sciences, combustion, materials science, chemistry, geosciences, fusion energy, astrophysics, nuclear and high-energy physics.
Cost: US$70 million

7. Oakforest-PACS

Oakforest-PACS supercomputer
Oakforest-PACS supercomputer at the Joint Center for Advanced High-Performance Computing, Kashiwa, Japan

The Oakforest-PACS is a Fujitsu built supercomputer with 8.208 compute nodes with each having a next-generation Intel Xeon Phi processor. The system is built for the Joint Center for Advanced High-Performance Computing which is jointly operated by the Center for Computational Sciences at the University of Tsukuba (CCS) and the Information Technology Center at the University of Tokyo. Learn more.

Active since: December 2016
Location: Joint Center for Advanced High-Performance Computing, Japan
Manufacturer: Fujitsu
Processing Cores: 556,104
Performance: 13.554 PFLOPS
Memory: 919,296 GB
Storage: 26 PB
Operating system: Linux
Power: 2.718 MW
Purpose: advanced computational sciences, science, and technology.
Cost:- –

8. K Computer

k computer
k-computer at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science, Japan

K computer is based on distributed memory architecture built by Fujitsu, it ranked number one in 2011. The construction of K was sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Education, culture, sports, science, and technology. At the time of its construction, it the best in the world and first to subsequently became the first beat the 10 PFLOPS mark. Learn more.

Active since: June 20111
Location: RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science, Japan
Manufacturer: Fujitsu
Processing Cores: 705,024
Performance: 10.510 PFLOPS
Memory: 1,410,048 GB
Storage: 11 PB
Operating system: Linux based
Power: 12.659 MW
Purpose: Climate research, disaster prevention, and medical research
Cost: US$1.25 billion

 

9. Mira

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This is an IBM-built supercomputer for Argonne National Laboratory in the US. It was financed by US Department of Energy, and partially by the National Science Foundation. At the time it was built, it ranked as the third most powerful supercomputer in the world. Learn more.

Active since: 2012
Location: Argonne National Laboratory, United States
Manufacturer: IBM
Processing Cores: 786,432
Performance: 8.586 PFLOPS
Memory: 768,000 GB
Storage: 24 PB
Operating system: Linux (Compute Node Kernel)
Power: 3.945 MW
Purpose: Cosmology, Nuclear reactor engineering, Material science, Weather, Climatology, Seismology, Biology, Computational chemistry
Cost: Estimated US$50 million

 

10. Trinity supercomputer

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Trinity is a Cray-built machine for the National Nuclear Security Administration. Learn more.

Active since: 2015
Location: Los Alamos National Laboratory, United States.
Manufacturer: Cray Inc.
Processing Cores: 301,056
Performance: 8.100 PFLOPS
Memory: 2,000,000 GB
Storage: 82 PB
Operating system: Cray Linux Environment
Power: 4.232 MW
Purpose: Primarily Military
Cost: US$174 million

Supercomputers have become of symbol of technological superiority and competition among countries that build them. The US for long dominated the sector but countries like China have come up strong. While waiting on quantum computers to prove their worth in the real world, supercomputers are our best shot to solve our current computational problems. The competition goes on, China and US have set plans for exascale supercomputers very soon.




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