Titan Claims Supercomputing Crown

by Sean Michael Kerner

The fastest computer in the world clocks in at 17.59 quadrillion calculations per second.

November's official list of the world's top 500 supercomputers was released this morning, once again crowning a U.S.-based installation as the world's fastest.

Though the U.S remains the leader, this month's top supercomputer is a new machine, displacing the previous champion, the IBM Sequoia. The U.S. reclaimed the crown of world's fastest in June of this year with the Linux-powered Sequoia, which is installed at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab.

Sequoia's top spot came after a three year absence for the U.S. in terms of holding the global supercomputing crown. While Sequoia originally clocked in at 16.32 petaflops per second, it's now been displaced by the Cray-built Titan system, which clocks in at 17.59 Petaflops per second.

Titan is powered by 560,640 processors, which is actually less than the 1,572,864 cores that power Sequoia. Titan was turned on at the end of October at the U.S Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee.

Titan Supercomputer Holding down the third spot on the Top 500 list is the Fujitsu-built RIKEN supercomputer with 705,024 cores and 10.51 Petaflops. IBM-powered machines hold down the number four and five spots, with the Mira 8.16 Petflop machine at the Argonne National Lab in the U.S. and the 4.14 Petaflop JUQUEEN machine in Germany.

IBM is well represented overall in the Top 500 list for November, with 193 entries in the top 500 and 32 entries in the top 100. Many of those IBM machines are based in the U.S., which still contains the majority of all supercomputers worldwide.

Overall speeds have increased as well, with the entry point now coming in at 76.5 Teraflops, up from 60.8 Teraflops earlier this year. And more of the supercomputers are now using InfiniBand, with an increase from 209 supercomputers to 226.

The November 2012 Top 500 Supercomputer list also confirms the dominance of Linux in the HPC space. 469 out of 500 machines on the list are currently powered by Linux.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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This article was originally published on Monday Nov 12th 2012
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