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Supercomputer powered by ARM chipsets becomes the world's fastest

  • The supercomputer, Fugaku, is followed by two others from American company, IBM, and two from China. Fugaku leads the Top500 list, which ranks the most powerful benchmarked supercomputers in the world

A Japanese supercomputer powered by chipsets from Advanced RISC Machines (ARM) has become the fastest in the world, making it the first ARM-based supercomputer to ever top the list. It also marks the first time Japan has taken the top spot since 2011.

The supercomputer, Fugaku, is followed by two others from American company, IBM, and two from China. Fugaku leads the Top500 list, which ranks the most powerful benchmarked supercomputers in the world.

ARM processors are commonly used in mobile phones, like the chipsets made by Qualcomm, Apple and Samsung. Apple on Monday had announced that it will also shift its Mac computers to ARM-based processors.

That said, the Fujitsu A64FX system-on-chip (SoC) which runs on this supercomputer is meant specifically for high-performance computing (HPC). It has 48 computing cores and provides 2.7 teraflops of power per chip. The computer is currently installed in the government funded RIKEN Center for Computational Science (R-CCS) in Kobe, Japan.

Fugaku’s results on the High Performance Linpack (HPL) test shows 415.5 petaflops of power, which is 2.8 times more than IBM Summit. HPL is the reference benchmark used to rank supercomputers in the Top500 list.

IBM’s Summit supercomputer came in behind Fugaku, while the company’s Sierra supercomputer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California, came in third. Summit and Sierra bring 148.8 petaflops and 94.6 petaflops of power, respectively, according to the HPL benchmarks.

Two Chinese supercomputers are fourth and fifth on the list. Third is a system developed by the National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering and Technology (NRCPC) in China, while number five is Tianhe-2A, which is developed by the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) in China. These boast 93 petaflops and 61.4 petaflops of power, respectively.

The two IBM supercomputers and the Chinese ones mentioned above, made the top four earlier.

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