14th July 2015
China maintains supercomputing lead
For the fifth consecutive time, Tianhe-2, a supercomputer developed by China's National University of Defence Technology, has retained its position as the world's no. 1 system, according to the 45th edition of the twice-yearly TOP500 list.
Tianhe-2, which means "Milky Way-2", continues to lead the TOP500 list with a performance of 33.86 petaflop/s (quadrillions of calculations per second) on the Linpack benchmark.
In second place is Titan, a Cray XK7 system at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Titan, the top system in the US and one of the most energy-efficient systems on the list, achieved 17.59 petaflop/s on the Linpack benchmark.
The only new entry in the top ten is at no. 7 – Shaheen II is a Cray XC40 system installed at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. Shaheen II achieved 5.54 petaflop/s on the Linpack benchmark, making it the highest-ranked Middle East system in the 22-year history of the list and the first to crack the top ten.
There are 68 systems with performance greater than 1 petaflop/s on the list, up from 50 last November. In total, the combined performance of all 500 systems has grown to 363 petaflop/s, compared to 309 petaflop/s last November and 274 petaflop/s one year ago. HP has the lead in the total number of systems with 178 (35.6%), compared to IBM with 111 systems (22.2%).
Nine systems in the top ten were all installed in 2011 or 2012, and this low level of turnover among the top supercomputers reflects a slowing trend that began in 2008. However, new systems are in the pipeline that may reignite the pace of development and get performance improvements back on track. For example, Oak Ridge National Laboratory is building the IBM/Nvidia "Summit", featuring up to 300 petaflops – an order of magnitude faster than China's Tianhe-2 – that is planned for 2018. Meanwhile, British company Optalysys claims it will have a multi-exaflop optical computer by 2020.
To view the complete list, visit top500.org.