All Hail The Mighty Tux As Linux Powers The World’s Top 500 Supercomputers

The Top500 list of supercomputers globally was published again this month, and one of the most interesting tidbits is that every single one of them runs Linux. This list comes out every six months and shows the top supercomputers in the world along with the countries with the most supercomputers. This fiftieth edition shows that there are some changes afoot in global supercomputing power. China has traditionally held the top spot for the most powerful supercomputer in the world, and it continues to hold that spot on the most current list.

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However, the U.S. has traditionally had the most supercomputers on the list on a per country basis, but that has changed: China now has the most supercomputers on the list. Six months ago, when the last version of the Top500 list was published, the U.S. had 169 systems and China had 160. The U.S. now sits in second place with 143 systems on the Top500 while China is at the top with 202 Top500 supercomputers. 

The U.S. has the fewest number of supercomputers on the Top500 list since the list began 25 years ago. The third-place spot for overall systems goes to Japan with 35, fourth place is Germany with 20, France is in fifth with 18, and sixth is the UK with 15 systems. China has also overtaken the U.S. in terms of aggregate performance claiming 35.4% of the Top500 flops. The U.S. is in second place in that metric with 29.6% of the Top500 Flops.

The top five supercomputers have changed slightly since the last edition of the Top500 list. says of the top supercomputer on the list, "Sunway TaihuLight, a system developed by China’s National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology (NRCPC), and installed at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, maintains its number one ranking for the fourth time, with a High Performance Linpack (HPL) mark of 93.01 petaflops."

China also has the second system on the list called Tianhe-2 with 33.86 petaflops. Third spot is a Swiss supercomputer called Piz Daint packing 19.59 petaflops. This machine was upgraded with Tesla P100 GPUs last year gaining nearly 10 petaflops of performance from its previous 9.77 petaflops number.

The fourth-place spot is a new one and is the upgraded Gyoukou in Japan with 19.14 petaflops. This rig happens to use Intel Xeon processors with a gargantuan 19,860,000 cores. The fifth-place spot is the first U.S. machine called Titan with 17.59 petaflops thanks mostly to NVIDIA K20 GPUs.