Department of Energy

U.S. Supercomputers Still Fastest In The World

June 18, 2019

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Machines at Oak Ridge and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories Maintain Top Two Spots in TOP500 List

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Two U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories continue to house the fastest supercomputers in the world, according to the new TOP500 List, a semiannual ranking of the world’s fastest computing systems.  

“DOE’s national labs have some of the brightest minds in the world which have made America a worldwide leader in high-performance computing hardware, software, and applications,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.  “We are well positioned to maintain this leadership as we enter the era of exascale computing, which holds enormous promise for our country and will transform our leadership in science, our economy, and our Nation’s security.”

Ranked number one is the IBM Summit system at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is devoted to open science and has held the number one ranking on the TOP500 list since June 2018. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s IBM Sierra system, which is focused on national security applications, kept the number two spot, where it has been ranked since October. The announcement came today at the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) in Frankfurt, Germany.

Trinity, a Cray system at Los Alamos National Laboratory, ranked seventh, putting the total number of supercomputers in the top 10 and housed at DOE national laboratories at four.

Over the decades, DOE and its national laboratories have spearheaded America’s high-performance computing effort, which has been an important component of the nation’s overall competitive advantage globally.  In recent years, the field has become increasingly competitive internationally, with the growing recognition of supercomputers’ extraordinary value as a tool not only of national security, but also of discovery and innovation.

The top two systems held steady in their score on the Linpack Benchmark used to determine the TOP500 ranking, with Summit rising from 143.5 petaflops (PF) in November to a record 148.6 PF and Sierra reporting 94.6 PF. The next ranked system is China’s TiahuLight, with a Linpack score of 93.0 PF.

For the first time, all 500 systems on the Top500 list delivered a petaflop or more on the High Performance Linpack (HPL) benchmark, with the entry level to the list now at 1.022 petaflops.

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