The Frontier supercomputer has surpassed the exaflops, breaking the old record

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In the United States, the Frontier supercomputer powered by AMD Epyc processors was able to achieve computing power of one exaflops, the first of its kind in the world.

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So far, the world’s most powerful computer, the Japanese Fugaku, has provided a computing power of 442 petaflops, but the Frontier of Oak Ridge National Laboratory just smashed that record in the United States by surpassing the major achievement of exaflops – 1.1 exaflops to be exact. So it became the fastest in the TOP500, the official ranking of the most efficient supercomputers at the moment.

Frontier supercomputer.  © Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Frontier supercomputer. © Oak Ridge National Laboratory

a matter of confusion

To summarize, flops (l Floating Point Operations Per Second) is the number of floating point operations a processor can perform in one second. Thus, this unit of measurement serves as a benchmark for evaluating the computing power of computers of all types. We were able to hear a lot about it when the latest generation of consoles was released, which offers around 12 teraflops for the Xbox Series X and just over 10 teraflops for the PlayStation 5.

An entirely different order of magnitude, exaflops, or one billion billion (10 to the 18th) in one second, were exceeded 14 years after crossing the petaflops mark in 2008. For example, the Oak Ridge National lab shows that it would take an entire global population Four years to complete a calculation Frontier can make in that second. The next step will therefore be zetaflops (10s21), which can be reached before 2030 according to the forecasts of some manufacturers.

frontier results.  © TOP500

frontier results. © TOP500

TOP500 . ranking

Thus, Frontier is officially at the top of the TOP500 thanks to its HPE Cray EX235a architecture and its AMD Epyc 64C processors. In total, the supercomputer consists of no less than 8.7 million cores, a number that makes you dizzy when you consider that Intel’s Core i9-12900K and AMD’s Ryzen 9 5950X – today’s best consumer processors – have only 16 of them… So, the Fugaku drops to second place with 442 petaflops, while LUMI, the European supercomputer installed in Finland, comes third with 152 petaflops. The rest of the top ten is mainly concentrated in the USA and China with Adastra itself, our national supercomputer, occupying the tenth place.

Frontier not only breaks the raw performance record, but seizes the opportunity to showcase itself with the world’s best performance per watt (52.23 gigaflops/watt). It thus becomes #1 of the GREEN500, a sub-ranking that lists the supercomputers that offer the best energy efficiency. Frontier and AMD prove that it is thus possible to deliver superior performance while controlling processor consumption.

Note, however, that two Chinese supercomputers, Tianhe-3 and Oceanlite, have already reached exaflops according to Standard Linpack is also used in the TOP500, but its results are unofficial. See you next year for the new TOP500 rating that could quickly shake up, with Fugaku maintaining its leading position for only two years.

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