The 10 fastest supercomputers in the world

Two newcomers crack latest top 10 as SC16 gets under way in Salt Lake City.

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Fast and powerful

The twice-annual Top500 list of the most powerful supercomputers in the world (adjudged by their performance on the Linpack benchmark) is out this morning, and there are a pair of newcomers on the list. Check it out.

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Los Alamos National Laboratory


Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Trinity makes the third straight list, with its 8.1 Petaflops of Linpack performance good for 10th place. It’s one of four Cray-built machines on November’s list, using just over 300,000 total processor cores.

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Argonne National LaboratoryWikipediaCC BY 2.0 (Creative Commons BY or BY-SA)


Mira, located at the Argonne National Laboratory, has been on the list since 2012, posting an 8.59 mark using more than 786,000 processor cores. It’s one of just two IBM Blue Gene/Q models left in the top 10, as those machines have ceased to dominate the list as they once did.

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Swiss National Supercomputing Center

Piz Daint

The only European entrant into the latest top 10 – and in fact, the only one not from the U.S. or East Asia – Piz Daint is a 9.78 petaflop machine named after an Alp, housed at the Swiss National Supercomputing Center in Lugano.

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K Computer

The old reliable of the list sinks to 7th place, but it’s been in the mix since 2011, when it was the fastest supercomputer in the world. It’s still noticeably less energy efficient than more recently built entrants, but it still cranks out 10.5 petaflops of computing power.

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The first new entry in this year’s top 10 is a brand-new supercomputer at Japan’s Joint Center for Advanced High Performance Computing, which provides 13.5 petaflops of performance from 556,000 processor cores.

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National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center


The other debutant is an American – the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center’s Cori is named for biochemist Gerty Cori, the first American woman to win a Nobel Prize. The computer that bears her name hits the 14 petaflop mark on the Linpack benchmark, using 622,000 total cores.

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Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory/Bob Hirschfeld


Sequoia contains a whopping 1.5 million total cores, which drive a total of 17.1 petaflops of performance. It resides at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, and has been on the top 10 list since 2012.

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Oak Ridge National Laboratory


The mightiest supercomputer in the U.S., Titan is the workhorse of Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, and its 17.6 petaflops of horsepower are good for third place on its second consecutive list. Titan had the top spot when it debuted on 2012’s second list, and has occupied second place before dropping to third in the last one.

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Jack Dongarra/Top500


The Chinese National University of Defense Technology’s Milky Way-2 packs 33.86 petaflops of processing power, which has been enough to put it at the top of every list on which it has appeared (its first was in June 2013), until the last one. This time, it remains in second place, behind only…

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Jack Dongarra/Top500

Sunway TaihuLight

…the monstrous Sunway TaihuLight, run by China’s National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi. At 93 petaflops, it’s got roughly triple the performance of Tianhe-2, and more than five times the horsepower of Titan in third place.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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