Top 10 Supercomputers, Illustrated, June 2012 (Continued)

We continue our illustrated review of the top finishers in the latest Top 500 list, which was released Monday at the ISC12 conference in Hamburg, Germany. See part one for images of the five most powerful machines. We continue at number six.

JAGUAR, Oak Ridge National Laboratory


Jaguar was the top performer in the June 2010 survey, but has slowly slipped back to its current position in sixth place, where it remains with a 1.75 petaflop performance speed running the Linpack benchmark. Jaguar is a Cray XT5 system located at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility in Tennessee. While Jaguar fell a few flops short this year, it retains a leadership position in supercomputing style with its striking Jaguar motif.


A look at the IBM Ble Gene / Q systems powering the Fermi supercomputer at Cineca in Italy.

In seventh place is the FERMI system housed at Cineca, a non-profit consortium, made up of 54 Italian universities and research organizations. FERMI is composed of 10.240 PowerA2 sockets running at 1.6GHz, with 16 cores each, totaling 163.840 compute cores and a system peak performance of 2.1 PFlops. Each processor comes with 16Gbyte of RAM (1Gbyte per core). The system will be equipped with a scratch storage system with a capacity of 2 petabytes and bandwidth in excess of 100 GByte/s. FERMI will enable computational science of scale, and will allow Italian and European teams of researchers to perform computationally intensive, large-scale research projects attacking fundamental problems in science and engineering that require massive calculations. ISCRA (Italian SuperComputing Resources Allocation) and PRACE will manage the access to the Tier-0 supercomputer by the way of international peer-review procedures ensuring world-class research is carried out that will be competitive worldwide. The system is named for Enrico Fermi, the Italian-born nuclear physicist.

JuQUEEN, Juelich, Germany

JuQueen is the newest system at the Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ) supercomputing center in Germany, whose JuGENE system previously held a spot in the top 10. The structure of the Blue Gene/Q is similar to that of the Blue Gene/P with increased performance metrics and on-board water cooling. The system consists of eight racks and will have a peak performance of 1.6 petaflops. It clocked in at 1.38 petaflops in the Linpack testing for the Top 500. One rack contains 32 node boards with 32 compute nodes each. A node consists of a processor comprising 16 IBM PowerPC A2 cores (1.6 GHz, 64 bits) for the execution of user applications; one additional core is used for the operating system. Each core can execute four processes/threads and has a quad floating point unit.


A cool shot of the Curie supercomputer, a Bull-powered system at the French atomic energy agency.

In the ninth position this year is the Curie supercomputer system, which resides at the Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique (CEA). The Curie supercomputer, owned by GENCI and operated into the TGCC by CEA, is the first French Tier0 system open to scientists through the French participation into the PRACE research infrastructure. Curie consists of 280 bullx B chassis housing 5,040 bullx B510 nodes, each with two 8-core Intel Sandy Bridge processors and a local SSD disk. The system has a total of 77,000 cores.


, which is located at the National Supercomputing Centre in Shenzhen, China, achieved 1.271 PFlop/s to rank 10th overall. Nebulae was built from a Dawning TC3600 Blade system with Intel X5650 processors and NVIDIA Tesla C2050 GPU.