The November edition of the Top 500 Supercomputers saw the US in not just the top spot, but the top two, thanks to upgrades to the Summit at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Sierra at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. These two can now hit a peak of 200,794.9 and 125,712.0 TFlops/S, respectively.
Summit offers a big performance lead over China’s Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer, which boasts peak performance of 125,435.9 TFlops/S. Interestingly, although Sierra effectively ties this in performance, it’s able to do it using 48% of the power the TaihuLight uses. This may be because it uses far more cores running at lower frequencies than it’s American counterparts. Both Sierra and Summit are based on IBM POWER9 CPUs, just a cool 1-2 million cores. No big deal. The TaihuLight uses over 10 million Sunway cores by comparison.
These lists are fun to keep track of for bragging rights. At this point, it’s unsurprising to see the US and China trade spots.
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