The 8 most powerful computers in the world

Xiaobai Software  2022-08-04 12: 22  read 40 views

We're used to seeing powerful computers in science fiction that can process massive amounts of data in seconds, machines so advanced that modern personal computers look like toys by comparison.

But many people don't know that today's supercomputers are so powerful that they blur the line between science fiction and reality almost every year.In this list, let's take a look at the eight most powerful supercomputers in the world.


How supercomputers are ranked

Before we start ranking supercomputers, we first need to see how they are measured.Older computers used to be measured on a rather modest scale called IPS (instructions per second), but modern supercomputers are measured in FLOPS (floating point operations per second).

We'll rank supercomputers in descending order, from most powerful to least powerful.

1. Frontier (US)

Frontier will be built in 2022 by American multinational information technology company Hewlett Packard Enterprise in partnership with its subsidiary Cray.It is the world's first ultra-large-scale supercomputer, which means it can perform at least half a billion (10^18) calculations per second.

With a total of 8,730,112 cores, the Frontier scored 1.1 EFLOPS (or exaflops) on the Linpack benchmark.It's based on the latest HPE Cray EX235a architecture, using a combination of AMD's third-generation 64-core 2GHz 7A53s CPU and MI250X GPU.

Frontier也是世界上最高效的超级计算机,其能效等级为52.23 gigaflops/watt。其74个计算柜中的每一个都重约8000磅(约3.63吨),整个系统的总成本高达6亿美元。

2. Fugaku (Japan)

Fugaku is being built by Japanese IT giant Fujitsu in 2020 as a successor to the older K computer the company built in 2011.It's designed to solve the world's biggest problems, especially slowing the rate of climate change.

Fugaku was the fastest supercomputer in the world until Frontier toppled it in May 2022.It has a total of 5 cores and scores an impressive 7,630,848 PFLOPS (or petaflops), which means it can perform 442 trillion calculations per second.

It runs on Fujitsu's A64FX 48-core 2.2GHz processor, which has an energy efficiency rating of just 14.78 gigabits/watt, which is pretty inefficient by today's standards.The system cost more than $10 billion and each cabinet weighed 1.6 tons, for a total of about 700 tons.

3. LUMI (Finland)

LUMI (Large Unified Modern Infrastructure), built by HPE in 2022 and located in Finland, is the fastest supercomputer in Europe. LUMI has a total of 1,110,144 cores with a clock speed of 151.9 PFLOPS.

LUMI runs on the same processor as Frontier and has a power efficiency rating of 51.63 gigabits/watt, making it the second most efficient supercomputer in the world.

4. Summit (US)

Summit was built by IBM in 2018 to conduct scientific research.It is located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States, the same place as Frontier. Summit has a total of 2,414,592 cores and a score of 148.6 PFLOPS.

Summit runs on IBM's POWER9 22-core 3.07GHz CPU and Nvidia Tesla V100 GPU with an energy efficiency rating of 14.72 gigaflops/watt, similar to Fugaku.

5. Sierra (USA)

Built in 2018, Sierra is very similar to Summit in that both supercomputers use the same IBM POWER9 22-core CPU architecture and Nvidia Tesla V100 GPUs.However, Summit was built for scientific research, while Sierra was built to run simulations to test and maintain America's nuclear weapons.

By running nuclear weapons simulations, the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) can check the effectiveness of its nuclear weapons without the need for physical testing, which helps save money. With a total of 1,572,480 cores, the Sierra scored 94.64 PFLOPS with a power efficiency of 12.72 gigaflops/watt.

6. Sunway TaihuLight (China)

At number six on the list, we found our first Chinese supercomputer, the Sunway TaihuLight.It was built in 2016 and is used for various purposes such as weather forecasting, medical research, life science research, etc.

Sunway TaihuLight has a total of 10,649,600 CPU cores and a score of 93.01 PFLOPS.It runs on a Sunway SW26010 260-core 1.45GHz processor with a power efficiency rating of just 6.05 gigabits/watt.

7. Perlmutter (US)

Built by HPE in 2021, Perlmutter is the world's seventh most powerful supercomputer -- named after Nobel laureate Saul Perlmutter.Like the Sunway TaihuLight, it is made for a variety of purposes, including nuclear fusion simulation, climate prediction, materials and biological research, and computational cosmology.

It is currently located at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) and is used by the U.S. Department of Energy. Perlmutter uses an AMD 7763 64-core 2.45GHz CPU and Nvidia A100 GPU with a total of 761,856 cores, a clock speed of 70.87 PFLOPS, and a power efficiency rating of 27.37 gigaflops/watt.

8. Selene (USA)

Built by Nvidia in 2020, Selene is named after the Greek goddess of the moon.Its most prominent purpose came in 2020, when Argonne National Laboratory, a national research laboratory in Illinois, used it to study the coronavirus and potential treatments. Selene has also been used to train BERT, Google's natural language processing model.

With a total of 555,520 cores, Selene scored 63.46 PFLOPS in the benchmark.It is built on the NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD reference architecture and runs on an AMD 7742 64-core 2.25GHz processor.It has a power efficiency rating of 24 gigabits/watt.

Supercomputers aren't science fiction -- they're already here

Seeing how powerful supercomputers are is truly mind-blowing.What a human would take years to do, what an ordinary personal computer would take weeks to do, a supercomputer can do in seconds.It won't be long before Frontier is replaced by another faster, more efficient supercomputer.

Modern laptops, PCs, and game consoles can already be classified as supercomputers, but they can't compare to the best computers we've ever created.Fortunately, as is the nature of technology, it will continue to get smaller and eventually appear in our personal gadgets, helping us expand our knowledge and create massive new industries ready for us to shape.

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