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Tianhe-2 supercomputer at 31 petaflops is title contender

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Posted June 12, 2013

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How is this for bragging rights in the always-on title grab for the world’s fastest supercomputer: China’s Tianhe-2 supercomputer, aka Milkyway-2, recently measured at speeds of 31 petaflops (30.65) out of a theoretical peak of 49.19. The kicker is that it was not even running at full capacity. The fastest result was only using 90 percent of the machine. The stats come from a five-hour Linpack test using 14,336 nodes and 50 GB of memory of each node. (The Linpack benchmark is a measure of a computer’s floating-point rate of execution. It is determined by running a computer program that solves a system of linear equations.) The numbers were revealed by University of Tennessee professor Jack Dongarra, who introduced the Linpack benchmarks, and who helps compile the biannual Top500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers.

“On May 28-29, 2013,” he wrote in his report on his visit to China, “I had the opportunity to attend an International HPC Forum (IHPCF) in Changsha China, which was organized by the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT).”

Regarding the test, Linpack Benchmark Run (HPL), he was sent “results showing a run of HPL benchmark using 14,336 nodes”; using “50 GB of the memory of each node and achieved 30.65 Pflop/s out of a theoretical peak of 49.19 Pflop/s or an efficiency of 62.3 percent of theoretical peak performance taking a little over five hours to complete.”

He said the fastest result used only 90 percent of the machine. The test results place the Tianhe-2 ahead of the world’s current title holder, which is the Cray XK7 system-based Titan at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the US.

Does that mean China will nudge Titan off the top of the Top500 list? Time will tell. Interested watchers await June 17, when the latest rankings will be issued as part of the twice-yearly Top500 list. As the official record, that list is updated twice a year with the next list due out on the 17th.

Read more at: Phys.org

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