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Microsoft’s Supercomputer Running Linux Among World’s 10 Fastest Machines

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A Microsoft Azure supercomputer running on Linux and not Windows has made it to the rankings of the world’s 10 fastest machines for the first time. Japan’s Fugaku supercomputer outperformed all competition once again.

In the 58th annual edition of the TOP500 list, the Microsoft Azure system called Voyager-EUS2 was the only machine to shake up the top spots, claiming No 10.

Based on the High-Performance Linpack (HPL) benchmark, the TOP500 list was devised to track the 500 fastest supercomputers in the world. The list has been tracking these machines on a continuous basis twice a year.

“Based on an AMD EPYC processor with 48 cores and 2.45GHz working together with an NVIDIA A100 GPU and 80GB of memory, Voyager-EUS2 also utilizes a Mellanox HDR Infiniband for data transfer. It achieved a benchmark speed of 30.05 Petaflop per second,” TOP500 said in a statement.

Microsoft’s supercomputer is still behind China’s Tianhe-2A and the US Department of Energy’s IBM-based Summit supercomputer, but it’s the only major cloud provider with a supercomputer ranked in the top 10.

Fugaku continues to hold the No 1 position that it first earned in June 2020.

Summit, an IBM-built system at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee, US, remains the fastest system in the US and at the No 2 spot worldwide.

Sierra, a system at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, CA, USA, is at No 3.

Unsurprisingly, systems from China and the US-dominated the list. Although China dropped from 186 systems to 173, the US increased from 123 machines to 150.


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