The Japanese Sugaku Supercomputer achieves 1.42 ExaFlops performance & is Ranked No 1 in Top500 list

Updated: Aug 24, 2020

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With 1.42 Exa Flops(1 Exa = 1 followed by 18 zeroes, Flops - floating point operations per second), the Japanese Supercomputer Fugaku tops the June 2020 Top 500 Supercomputers list. The Fugaku Supercomputer has 152,064 ARM CPUs, 4.85 peta bytes(PB) of memory, 163 PB/s memory bandwidth and 15.9 PB of Tier 1 storage. This system is built jointly by RIKEN and Fujitsu.

*80.9% of the peak performance

Top500 Supercomputers is the list published by a group of academic researchers led by Jack Dongarra, creator of the powerful mathematical library known as LINPACK. Top500 benchmark suit includes High Performance LINPACK (HPL), HPCG, and HPL-AI Benchmarks.

The Top500 created a very healthy competition amongst hardware manufacturers. It is most appropriate to say that, for the last three decades, Top500 list has been contributing to the advancements of microprocessors, systems architecture and high-speed networking.

Top500 list being a time-tested, neutral and easy to understand ranking based on the system performance. Globally, many organizations have been using this regularly-updated, off-the-shelf benchmark for arriving at important decisions on technologies.

Regularly updated Top 500 Supercomputer list is published twice every year since 1993. Since then they have extended this list to include, Green 500(energy efficiency). Further, in 2019, by incorporating the mixed precision arithmetic, Top500 updated the benchmark suit with HPL-AI, to evaluate systems performance for AI applications.

The cost of the project to build the Fugaku Supercomputer is around Japanese¥130 billion or US$1 billion. Though the industry and customers are adapting cloud, many Govt. labs around the world still invest in on-prem high performance systems. This is very much essential for advanced strategic research in the areas of stockpile stewardship, weather forecasting, drug discovery, climate/ocean modelling, computational chemistry, direct numerical simulation, and others.

Key Takeaways

  • The first ARM processor based system to be ranked No. 1 in the top500 list

  • The first Supercomputer to get an exascale rating from an independent group

  • Defying the trend, this system doesn't use any accelerators like GPU or FPGA