The new no. 1 system on the updated ranking of the TOP500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, released this morning, is Fugaku, a machine built at the Riken Center for Computational Science in Kobe, Japan. The system turned in a High Performance LINPACK (HPL) result of 415.5 petaflops (nearly half an exascale), outperforming Summit, the former no. 1 system housed at the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Lab, by a factor of 2.8x.
Fugaku, powered by Fujitsu’s 48-core A64FX SoC, is the first ARM-based system to take the TOP500 top spot. The system, which has 158,976 nodes, blew through the exascale (a billion billion calculations per second) milestone in single precision calculations, often used in machine learning and AI applications. On the HPL-AI benchmark, designed to measure HPC performance on machine/deep learning workloads, Fugaku registered peak performance of 1.45 exaflops, according to Jack Dongarra, Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at the University of Tennessee, who helped create the TOP500 list in 1993.
“This is an impressive machine,” Dongarra told us. “It has great potential. They’ve run a number of applications already on the Fugaku system, and I expect to see many good things come out of it. It’s a very well balanced machine. It was designed to do supercomputing – that is to say, it wasn’t cobbled together from commodity processors and GPUs. It was designed specifically for this high end, high performance computing.”