The United States has finally reclaimed the top spot from China for the world’s fastest computer with the IBM Summit system.
The U.S. Department of Energy‘s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has claimed the top spot in this year’s Top500 supercomputer list announced at the International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt, Germany. The title was won by the IBM Summit supercomputer which reportedly clocked in 200 petaflops of computing power during its debut last month.
The Top500 supercomputer list is updated every six months by a group of academic researchers who publicly release the list every two years.
On the list, the Summit has a recorded speed score of 122.3 quintillion mathematical operations per second or 122 petaflops. Now, if humans would like to match that speed, it would require every person on Earth to make 16 million calculations per second.
The IBM Summit is equipped with over 27,000 Nvidia graphics processing unit chips (GPUs). Five of the seven fastest supercomputers in the world right now are also utilizing Nvidia GPUs, including the Tesla V100 which was introduced last year.
Since its debut, the Summit was already able to perform many tasks including the search for genetic links between diseases using machine learning.
“When we first started talking about the original Tesla K80 back in 2015, we were only contributing about 11 percent of the list that year if I add up all the computational horsepower on the top of the list,” Ian Buck, Nvidia Vice Presiden, said in an interview.
“This year, the majority of 56 percent of the computation on the list is coming from GPUs and this really talks to the adoption of accelerated computing, of using GPUs for solving the kinds of problems and building the kinds of systems that are necessary to advance computing.”
However, despite claiming the top spot this year, the U.S. only has 124 systems on the list. This is considered a new low since the country occupied 145 spots just six months ago and a far cry from China’s 206 systems on the list.