Since 1993, a ranking of the top 500 fastest computers in the world has been compiled biannually with published results released in June and November at major HPC gatherings in the US and Europe. Each machine on the TOP500 list is ranked based on its performance result from running the computationally intensive High Performance LINPACK (HPL) benchmark developed by ICL, which may be further optimized by the vendor, integrator, or the benchmarking engineer from the affiliated institution.
While new benchmarks, including HPCC, have been developed to measure performance of HPC systems, the TOP500 still relies on the HPL benchmark and remains the de-facto ranking used by commercial, industrial, government, and academic institutions. ICL continues to partner with NERSC/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Prometeus to produce the rankings.
In June 2013, China’s Tianhe-2 supercomputer took the #1 spot on the TOP500 at an astounding 33.86 petaflop/s, and continues to maintain that position as of November 2014. The surprise appearance of Tianhe-2, two years ahead of the expected deployment, marks China’s first return to the #1 position since November 2010, when Tianhe-1A was the top system. Tianhe-2 has 16,000 nodes, each with two Intel Xeon Ivy Bridge processors and three Xeon Phi coprocessors for a combined total of 3,120,000 computing cores.
Find out more at http://top500.org/