Japan Dominates Latest Green Supercomputing Ranking

Six out of ten of the most energy efficient supercomputers in the world can be found in Japan.

AsianScientist (July 7, 2017) – Japanese supercomputers have taken the top four spots of the latest Green500 List, a biannual ranking of the most energy efficient supercomputers in the world. The rankings were announced at ISC High Performance 2017, an international conference held in Germany.

Taking the top spot is TSUBAME 3.0 at the Global Scientific Information and Computing Center, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech). Slated to commence operations in August 2017, TSUBAME 3.0 is Japan’s first supercomputer to top the Green500 list, with a power efficiency of 14.1 gigaFLOPS per watt.

It has a computing power of 47.2 petaFLOPS when using 16-bit floating point, and is suitable for artificial intelligence and big data applications. Both the computer itself and the cooling system have one of the most energy-efficient designs in the world, which means that much more power can be spent on computing rather than on cooling.

Coming in a close second was Yahoo Japan Corporation’s kukai system, which achieved a power efficiency of 14.045 gigaFLOPS per watt. Used for deep learning and voice recognition in particular, kukai has a peak performance of 460 teraFLOPS.

Third and fourth places were taken by AIST AI Cloud (AAIC) and the RAIDEN GPU system at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and RIKEN, respectively. The AAIC is one of the largest shared computing platforms in Japan for R&D on artificial intelligence (AI). The total power consumption can be maintained below 150 kW by constantly monitoring the power usage of the entire system, including storage and network. This allows the AAIC to be housed in a standard server room, without the need for specialized cooling systems or sacrificing energy efficiency.

The AAIC is supported by the technology developed through the AIST/Tokyo Tech Real World Big-Data Computation Open Innovation Laboratory (RWBC-OIL), headed by Professor Satoshi Matsuoka.

Apart from the top four, two other Japanese supercomputers also made the top ten of the June 2017 Green500 List. The Japan Agency for Marine, Earth Science and Technology’s Gyoukou system was ranked seventh while the Research Computation Facility for GOSAT-2 at the National Institute for Environmental Studies came in eighth.

Fifth and sixth place went to the Wilkes-2 supercomputer at the University of Cambridge, UK and the Piz Daint at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre. Rounding out the top ten were two systems from the United States: an NVIDIA system at Facebook and the DGX Saturn V owned by NVIDIA Corporation.


Source: Tokyo Institute of Technology.
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