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USA in world ranking for supercomputers: why Frontier HPE Cray EX from ORNL with AMD processors


The United States is at the top of the world for supercomputers, more precisely in the Top500 of the most powerful systems. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Frontier System running on AMD EPYC processors took first place compared to last year’s champion, the ARM A64X Fugaku system from Japan.

It is still in the process of being integrated and tested at ORNL in Tennessee, but will eventually be operated by the US Air Force and the US Department of Energy.

Frontier, powered by Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) Cray EX platform, was also a high-margin machine. It is the first (known) true exascale system, reaching a peak of 1.1 exaflops on the Linmark benchmark. In the meantime, Fugaku has managed less than half of that at 442 petaflops, which has been enough to keep him in first place for the past two years.

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Frontier was also the most efficient supercomputer. Operating at just 52.23 gigaflops per watt, it surpassed Japan’s MN-3 system to top the Green500 list.

Who is in the top for supercomputers

“The fact that it is the fastest machine in the world and the most energy efficient is simply amazing,” ORNL laboratory director Thomas Zacharia told a news conference.

Other computers in the TOP10 include another HPE Cray EX system installed at EuroHPC in Finland (151.9 petaflops), the Summit system built by IBM that uses 22 cores (NVIDIA Tesla V100 processors and GPUs – 148.8 petaflops) and Sierra from Lawrence Livermore, a smaller system – the scale version of the Summit that reached 94.6 Pflop / s.

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China ranked two top with Sunway TaihuLight at the National Center for Research in Parallel Computer Engineering and Technology (NRCPC) and Tianhe-2A built by China’s National Defense Technology University (NUDT). However, it is rumored that China already has no less than two exascale systems (according to Linmark) on the new Sunway Oceanlite and Tianhe-3 systems. However, due to the current state of semiconductor policy, China does not disclose any new benchmarks or significant progress.

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