China has the most top 500 supercomputers but US has the most supercomputer power

The share of TOP500 installations in China continues to rise, with the country now claiming 227 systems (45 percent of the total). The number of supercomputers that call the US home continues to decline, reaching an all-time low of 109 (22 percent of the total). However, systems in the US are, on average, more powerful, resulting in an aggregate system performance of 38 percent, compared to 31 percent for China.

Japan is third in system share, with 31 systems, followed by the UK, with 21, France with 18, Germany with 17, and Ireland with 12. All other countries have fewer than ten systems on the list.

There are now 429 supercomputers on the TOP500 list that deliver over one petaflop on the Linpack benchmark, up from 272 systems six months ago. The entry point to the list is now 874.8 teraflops, with the entry point for the top 100 systems at 1.97 petaflops.

The top ten systems manufacturers (by number of systems) are Lenovo (140), Inspur (84), Sugon (57), Cray (49), HPE (46), Bull (22), Fujitsu (15), Huawei (14), Dell EMC (13), and IBM (12).

Intel continues to provide the processors for the largest number of TOP500 systems, with a dominating 95.2 percent share. There are just three systems on the latest list powered by AMD CPUs.

For the first time, an ARM-powered supercomputer has made it into the TOP500 rankings. The new system, known as Astra, is an HPE-built supercomputer deployed at Sandia National Laboratories. It’s powered by 125,328 Cavium ThunderX2 cores and has achieved an HPL Linpack score of 1.5 petaflops. It enters the list at number 205.

Top Ten Changes

The US Summit supercomputer widened its lead as the number one system, improving its High Performance Linpack (HPL) score from 122.3 to 143.5 petaflops since its debut on the previous list in June 2018. Sierra also added to its HPL result from six months ago, going from 71.6 to 94.6 petaflops, enough to bump it from the number three position to number two. Both are IBM-built supercomputers, powered by Power9 CPUs and NVIDIA V100 GPUs.

Sierra’s ascendance pushed China’s Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer, installed at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, into third place. Prior to last June, it had held the top position on the TOP500 list for two years with its HPL performance of 93.0 petaflops. TaihuLight was developed by China’s National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology (NRCPC).

Tianhe-2A (Milky Way-2A), deployed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzho, China, is now in the number four position with a Linpack score of 61.4 petaflops. It was upgraded earlier this year by China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT), replacing the older Intel Xeon Phi accelerators with the proprietary Matrix-2000 chips.

At number five is Piz Daint, a Cray XC50 system installed at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) in Lugano, Switzerland. At 21.2 petaflops, it maintains its standing as the most powerful system in Europe. It is powered by a combination of Intel Xeon processors and NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPUs.

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