The TOP500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers was released Monday morning, ranking the Linux-powered IBM Sequoia as the top computer, coming in at 16.32 petaflops per second. Sequoia is an IBM BlueGene/Q system powered by 1,572,864 compute cores and installed at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
The same IBM BlueGene/Q system only had 65,536 cores in November of 2011, which was good enough to rank it as number 11 at that time. Japan’s K Computer has now fallen to the number 2 slot, retaining its 705,024 core configuration, delivering the same 10.51 petaflops per second that it had in November. While the K Computer has fewer cores and less petaflop performance, it consumes more electrical power than Sequoia. The Sequoia consumes 7,890.0 KW, while the K consumes 12,659.9 KW.
While there are differing views on CPUs and interconnects across the TOP500, when it comes to operating systems the trend is a lot clearer. On the June 2012 list, Linux dominates the operating system landscape, with 462 machines for a 92.4 percent share.