News & Announcements
June 18, 2012
"Argonne's Mira Ranks Among Nation's Fastest Science Supercomputers"
Mira, Argonne National Laboratory’s new IBM Blue Gene/Q system, is the third fastest supercomputer in the world according to the TOP500 list announced today. Mira thus takes its place among the U.S. computational giants poised to propel scientific discoveries into the petascale.
The TOP500 list, now in its 39th year, is the semiannual ranking of the world’s most powerful supercomputers. The list began as a way to produce meaningful statistics for supercomputing systems and is a widely observed benchmark that sets performance targets for vendors to deliver increased capabilities to the most challenging computational science applications.
The TOP500 project bases its rankings on the highest score measured using the Linpack benchmark suite, a special-purpose computer code that scores application runs in quadrillions of floating-point operations per second, or petaflops. For the June list, Mira achieved 8.1 petaflops per second on the Linpack benchmark, using 786,432 processing cores on 48 racks.
Mira’s predecessor at Argonne, a Blue Gene/P system called Intrepid, made a similar ranking debut on this list just six years ago, but with vastly different performance capabilities. Mira has 20 times the processing power of Intrepid. At peak performance, Mira will be capable of 10 quadrillion floating-point operations per second.
“We’ve entered the next great revolution in computational science, which will involve the development of predictive models of complex, interconnected processes,” said Argonne’s Leadership Computing director Michael Papka. “Mira represents our continued efforts to design HPC systems that meet the priorities of science codes.”
Fostering Discoveries Faster
As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science (SC) Leadership Computing machine, Mira will provide billions of processor-hours per year to the scientists, engineers and researchers who will use it to run complex simulations of scientific phenomena. The system is located at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), a high-tech science research hub whose sole function -- from system maintenance to computational science expertise -- is to enable and accelerate research. The SC’s Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research provides high-level computer power focused on large-scale installation used ...