The Fugaku supercomputer of Japan has been ranked as the world’s fastest supercomputer. It has knocked off the Sierra of the USA from the top spot.
Fugaku is now the fastest supercomputer in the world. However, it is not available to the average consumers of tech components. Fugaku has achieved the top spot by becoming part of the project known as TOP500. The world’s fastest supercomputer achieved the top spot by outperforming the rest of the supercomputers on the list. It has been built on ARM-based architecture and powered by processors of A64FX.
The Top500 project has been organized by Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee in partnership with Horst Simon and Erich Strohmaier from the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Centre and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The project works to choose among the best computers that are not distributed and rank them. The Top500 project has been instrumental in ranking supercomputers since the year 1993. Since Fugaku has been ranked the fastest supercomputer in the world for the year 2020 and so it has pushed the Summit supercomputer of the USA to second place. The people can see Fugaku in Wako based in Japan at the RIKEN center for computational science while Summit has been kept at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.
Since Fugaku is a new entry in the list of supercomputers, it is undoubtedly equipped with powerful features. For example, LINPACK is the benchmark which produces results in floating-point operations per second and is used by Top500 to measure these supercomputers. Usually, the main purpose of using LINPACK is to measure supercomputers’ capability to solve complicated and tough math equations in every second. The LINPACK score produced by Fugaku is 415.5 petaflops. On the contrary, Summit produced a score of 148.8 petaflops.
However, a difference of 267 petaflops does not sound too much, but one petaflop is equal to one trillion flops. So, Fugaku is solving 267 trillion more math equations every second in terms of floating-point operations than Summit. Also, it is significant that Fugaku is the first supercomputer to top the list while using the ARM-based processors. The other USA machines that hold the second and third place use the processors like POWER9, TESLA, and V100.
Countries to top the list of supercomputers
Japan has indeed become the first country which has the world’s fastest supercomputer. But, it is not the only measure that is used to define success in the Top500 list. The project also keeps track of the countries which have the highest number of computers. So, China has topped the list of the highest number of computers with 229 supercomputers. The USA clinched second place with having 121 computers. While looking at the supercomputers’ overall performance, China has 644 petaflops, enough to beat the USA with 565 petaflops. Among countries that emerged in the top five in the TOP500 project, Japan finished third place with thirty supercomputers, and France grabbed fourth place with eighteen machines. Germany emerged in the list in fifth place with sixteen machines.
Although, the list of supercomputers and ranking the countries based on it is looking like a horse race. But it is also giving an important insight into the future of computer-based technology. If we consider the LINPACK score of this year, which is 2.23 exaflops, then it indicates an incredible improvement from last year’s score, which was 1.65 exaflops. These scores are signifying the fast progress computer science is making every year.
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