A Japanese machine has snatched the crown of world’s fastest supercomputer, displacing incumbent leader IBM Summit. 

Built upon ARM processors, Fujitsu’s Fugaku supercomputer now leads the Top500 rankings, which scores machines based on their performance against the High Performance Linpack (HPL) benchmark.

Fugaku achieved an HPL score of 415.5 petaflops (almost three times as fast as IBM Summit) as well as topping the rankings for Graph 500, HPL-AI and HPCH workloads – a feat never before achieved by a single supercomputer.

World’s fastest supercomputer

Fugaku achieves its extreme level of performance using Fujitsu’s 48-core A64FX microprocessor, based on ARM architecture. ARM processors feature in only four of the top 500 supercomputers, and Fugaku is the first ARM-based machine to take the number one position.

Fujitsu’s supercomputer has a total of 7,299,072 cores, 4,866,048 GB memory, and reaches a peak performance of over 1,000 petaflops (1 exaflops) in certain scenarios.

The machine is also the first supercomputer developed in Japan to top the speed rankings, a crown usually passed back and forth between China- and US-based firms. The current list consists of 226 Chinese supercomputers, 114 American and 30 Japanese machines.

Installed at RIKEN Center for Computational Science in Kobe, Fugaku is set to officially go into operation next year. However, it has already been used in recent months to assess the viability of Japan’s contact-tracing app and map out the spread of SARS in a bid to assist the coronavirus effort.

Overall, the aggregate performance of the leading 500 supercomputers sits at 2.23 exaflops, up from 1.65 exaflops in January. Fugaku accounts for the majority of that increase, as a new entry to the list.

The total volume of new entries to the list, meanwhile, was down to 51 – a record low since the Top500 rankings were first compiled in 1993.

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