The newly installed system in IBM Sequoia is now world’s fastest computer preceded by Japan’s Computer K . The speed of Japan’s Super Computer is 10.51 PFLOPS and the newly built IBM Sequoia is having a speed of 16.32 PFLOPS .
Sequoia is a petascale Blue Gene Q supercomputer constructed by IBM for the National Nuclear Security Administration as part of the Advanced Simulation and Computing Program (ASC). It was delivered to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in 2011 and was fully deployed in June 2012.
On 18 June 2012, the TOP500 Project Committee announced that Sequoia replaced the K computer as the world’s fastest supercomputer, with a LINPACK performance of 16.325 petaflops. In addition to being 55% faster than K, IBM Sequoia is also 150% more energy efficient.[clarification needed]
The entire supercomputer runs on Linux, with Compute Node Linux running on nearly 98,000 nodes, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux running on 768 I/O nodes that are connected to the filesystem.
It is installed at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.
“While Sequoia may be the fastest, the underlying computing capabilities it provides give us increased confidence in the nation’s nuclear deterrent,” National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) administrator Thomas D’Agostino, said.
“Sequoia also represents continued American leadership in high performance computing,” he added.
The computer is capable of calculating in one hour what otherwise would take 6.7 billion people using hand calculators 320 years to complete if they worked non-stop.
Although the US’s efforts helped secure it the lead, its overall tally of three computers in the top 10 was worse than six months ago when it had five.
China and Germany both have two supercomputers, while Japan, France and Italy have one.
But IBM proved to be the leading manufacturer claiming five out of the top 10 spots.
David Turek, vice president of deep computing at the firm, told the BBC his company had been preparing to retake the top spot for two years.
“Substantial planning went into this. We knew the day would come,” he said.
Sequoia is 1.55 times faster than the Fujitsu model, and uses over 1.5 million processors.
In comparison the Japanese model has less than half the number of CPUs (central processing units).
The IBM supercomputer is also more energy efficient than the Fujitsu model.
Sequoia consumes 7.9 megawatts compared to the K computer which uses 12.6 megawatts.
Turek described Sequoia as the “pinnacle of energy efficiency” and said the reaction had been “very enthusiastic.”
“Government laboratories in Europe have already expressed interest,” he added.
The first computer to take the top position on the list was the CM-5/1024 in 1993, designed by Thinking Machines.
IBM has also built a smaller prototype called “Dawn,” capable of 500 teraflops, using the Blue Gene/P design, to evaluate the Sequoia design. This system was delivered in April 2009 and entered the Top500 list at 9th place in June 2009.
Sequoia will be used primarily for nuclear weapons simulation, replacing the current Blue Gene/L and ASC Purple supercomputers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Sequoia will also be available for scientific purposes like astronomy, energy, studying of the human genome, and climate change.