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Taiwan's Supercomputer Ranked 35 Among the Top500 Worldwide

2007/07/16

Taiwan's Supercomputing Capability Surpasses China's and South Korea's; Second Only to Japan

The 29th Top500 Supercomputing list was announced at the ISC¡¦07 International Super Computing Conference, Dresden, Germany, on June 27th 2007 Taiwan time.  The next-generation supercomputing platform built by the NCHC was ranked 35th on the Top500 list due to its advanced computing capabilities.  This is the first time Taiwan has been ranked among the top 35 on the list.  With this announcement, Taiwan¡¦s rise in computing capability has now surpassed China's (ranked 43rd) and South Korea's (ranked 53rd) and is now only second to Japan's Tokyo Institute of Technology (ranked 14th).

The newly assembled supercomputing platform IBM System Cluster 1350 has 2,048 processors with a combined throughput of 24.6 TFlops/s.   Theoretically, it can perform 24.6 trillion floating point calculations per second (theoretical Rpeak at 24.6 Tflops/s; actual Rmax at 19.91 TFlops/s).  The cluster was assembled in the NCHC's southern business unit's branch office and will be operational in the the third quarter of 2007.  It will be available for use by Taiwan's academic, research, and industrial institutions.  It will provide large-scale computing support to further advances in areas of research such as weather, typhoon and flood prediction, energy research, medical imaging, and engineering.

The Top500 list is the undisputed authority on supercomputer rankings worldwide.  Since 1993, the organization has released supercomputing rankings every June and November.  The NCHC first joined the list in 1994 at the 347th spot.  In 1996, the NCHC advanced to the 76th spot and then further advanced to the 60th spot in 2002.  In 2007, the NCHC surpassed its previous records by being listed within the top 50 supercomputers coming in at number 35. 

In an unprecedented move, the NCHC will make the newly minted cluster available as the computing platform for the ¡§Matrix NCHC '07¡¨ competition.  Using ¡§The Matrix¡¨ as its theme, the competition will invite students from universities and technical institutes within Taiwan to tackle matrix problems using parallel computing.  Students in high school or higher grades will have the opportunity to experience the speed of the Top 35 supercomputer.

Past supercomputing rankings for NCHC (Source: TOP500 website www.top500.org)
 
In the latest ranking, the first place went to the IBM BlueGene/L supercomputer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the U.S.A.  It has 131,072 processors with a throughput of 280.6 TFlop/s.  The second and third place holders both have a throughput above 100TFlops.  They belong to the U.S.A.'s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Jaguar, 101.7 TFlops/s) and Sandia National Laboratories (Red Storm, 101.4 TFlop/s), respectively.

By nationality, the U.S.A. still dominates the Top500 with eight supercomputers in the top eight spots.  The fastest supercomputer in Europe (Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Spain, 62.63 TFlop/s) came in ninth  place.  Among Asian countries, Japan holds the highest ranking at 14 with the supercomputer at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.  Below is a list of the top ten supercomputers.

Top 10 Supercomputers by Top500 (Source: Top 500 Website
www.top500.org¡^

TOP 500

An authority in supercomputer rankings, the site started publishing its ranking in 1993.  Using reliable evaluation criteria,  current systems are ranked and published every June and November.  The list has become an important reference tool for supercomputing manufacturing and application.

Teraflop (TF)

In supercomputing terminology, flop is an abbreviation for FLotingpoint Operation Per Second.  A ¡§Tera¡¨ flop means a billion flops.  Using the NCHC's newest supercomputer as an example, its 24.6 Teraflops means it can theoretically finish 24.6 trillion floating points calculation per second.

Rpeak¡®Rmax

Rpeak means theoretical maximum performance; Rmax means actual or tested performance.

About the NCHC

The National Center for High-Performance Computing (NCHC) is one of the centers of the National Applied Research Laboratories.  It is the only supercomputing facility in Taiwan.  To provide more professional services, the NCHC has unified computing and networking resources in its Hsinchu, Taichung, and Tainan business unit offices.  The NCHC also passed ISO 9001-2000 and ISO 27001:2005 certifications in 2005 and 2006 respectively.

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