TOP500 Supercomputers

CS 641 Lecture, Dr. Lawlor

While I was a graduate student, I did a lot of work on supercomputers.  Back in the early 1990's, "supercomputer" meant perhaps 100 cores, typically shared memory on a fast memory bus.  In the early 2000's, "supercomputer" meant around 1000 cores, usually distributed memory machines on a network.  Today, world-class supercomputers have around 100,000 cores. 

GPUs have just started to penetrate the high-performance computing world: of the TOP500 list of the 500 fastest supercomputers (at least on double-precision Linpack), only 17 used either GPU or Cell accelerators, although these include three of the top four systems in the world!

At the Charm++ Workshop earlier this week, Satoshi Matsuoka gave an excellent keynote on the #4 machine in the world, TSUBAME 2.0, which he helped build.  The hardware specs include:
Power is a serious limiting design factor in machines of this type.