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The Top 5 Supercomputers More Power Hungry Than Ever

The updated K system now has 705,024 processing cores, delivers 10.5 PFlops and consumes about 12.7 MW. For the first time, the list also includes a supercomputer that integrates a Chinese processor architecture.

The current Top500 list now ranks four Asian systems among the five fastest supercomputers in the world. NUDT YH MPP follows the K Computer with a performance of 2.6 PFlops. A 1.8 PFlops computer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is in third place, followed by a Dawning TC3600 system in China (1.3 PFlops) and a HP ProLiant SL390s supercomputer (1.2 PFlops) at Tokyo's GSIC Center. Despite greater power efficiencies in microprocessors, the overall power consumption is expanding at a rapid pace: K Computer consumes 12.7MW. The five fastest supercomputers are estimated at a consumption of 27.3 MW, up from 14.8 MW just three years ago.

The November 2011 list also includes, for the first time, a computer that uses China's Shenwei SW1600 CPU. Clocked at 975 MHz, the processor has 16 cores and debuts in a system installed at the National Supercomputing Center in Jinan. The system is ranked at position 14.