China builds World’s Fastest Supercomputer
Top500 notes that the rate of performance growth for the entire list is slowing down. Performance at the low end of the list typically grew at 90% year-over-year, but has now dropped to a 55% growth rate. Part of this deceleration is attributed to the dearth of new systems at the top. Despite that lack of change, these supercomputers will get more super. Tianhe-2 is projected to reach 100 petaflops by 2018.
The computer scientists measure system performance with the Linpack Benchmark, which is used in each system to solve “a dense set of equations.” The benchmark is not a measure of the system’s overall performance, but rather its performance on that task. Top500 organizers insist that no single benchmark can effectively measure the overall performance of a given system.