This morning, the semi-annual Top500 list of the world’s fastest super-computers was released. As expected, the newly-operational Titan system at Oak Ridge National Laboratory [ORNL] took the top spot, beating out the Sequoia system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Titan achieved performance of 17.59 petaFLOPS (1.759 × 1016 floating point operations per second) on the LINPACK benchmark. This measured speed is less than the potential maximum speed of the system, which is rated at 27 petaFLOPS.
It’s a bit puzzling that the Top500 announcement lists the Titan system as having 560,640 processor cores, a number considerably different from the 299,008 cited in the original press release from ORNL. The Titan system also uses NVIDIA Tesla K20 graphics processors to boost floating-point performance. It occupies 4,352 square feet of floor space, and draws 8.2 megawatts of electricity. (Don’t look for a battery-powered mobile version anytime soon.)
As has been true for quite some time, the operating system usage on these machines is rather different from that in the desktop market.
|OS Family||Percent of Systems|
One thing that is striking about these figures is that Linux has almost entirely replaced Unix in this market; in November 2000, 85.4 percent of the Top500 systems ran Unix, while 10.8 percent ran Linux. Also, obviously, this is one OS market segment where Microsoft has almost no presence.
You can see the complete list here.