Comparing the Latest Top 500 and Top 500 Green Lists of HPC Systems
The Top 500 list and the Top 500 Green List are two prestigious rankings of high-performance computing (HPC) systems. The Top 500 list ranks systems based on their overall performance, while the Top 500 Green List ranks systems based on their energy efficiency.
The latest Top 500 list was released in November 2023. The top system on the list is the Frontier system at Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) in the United States. Frontier has a peak performance of 1.5 exaflops and a theoretical peak performance of 2 exaflops.
The latest Top 500 Green List was released in June 2023. The top system on the list is the Fugaku system at RIKEN Center for Computational Science in Japan. Fugaku has a peak performance of 442 petaflops and a theoretical peak performance of 537 petaflops.
There is a significant difference in the ranking orders of the two lists. This is because the Top 500 Green List places a greater emphasis on energy efficiency than the Top 500 list.
Top Winners and Losers in Terms of Energy Efficiency
There are a few top winners and losers in terms of energy efficiency in power and cooling costs.
- Top Winners:
- Fugaku system at RIKEN Center for Computational Science in Japan
- LUMI system at CSC – IT Center for Science in Finland
- Summit system at Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) in the United States
- Top Losers:
- Aurora system at Argonne National Laboratory in the United States
- Sierra system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in the United States
- Frontier system at Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) in the United States
Green-Energy Winners’ Stories
The green-energy winners’ stories are a testament to the innovation and hard work of the researchers and engineers who designed and built these systems.
- Fugaku system: The Fugaku system is a unique system that uses a custom-designed ARM processor. This processor is much more energy-efficient than the traditional x86 processors that are used in most HPC systems.
- LUMI system: The LUMI system is a system that uses a new type of liquid cooling technology. This technology is much more efficient than traditional air cooling.
- Summit system: The Summit system is a system that uses a new type of power management software. This software is able to optimize the power consumption of the system.
Special Design Features, Packaging, Cooling, and Management Policies
The green-energy winners have a number of special design features, packaging, cooling, and management policies that make them energy-efficient.
- Special Design Features:
- Use of energy-efficient processors
- Use of low-power memory
- Use of efficient networking components
- Use of compact and efficient packaging
- Use of high-quality materials
- Use of liquid cooling
- Use of air cooling with advanced heat exchangers
- Management Policies:
- Use of power management software
- Use of energy-efficient scheduling algorithms
- Use of energy-efficient workloads
Implications of the Different Ranking Orders
The different ranking orders of the Top 500 and Top 500 Green Lists have a number of implications.
- Implications for HPC system designers: The different ranking orders suggest that HPC system designers need to pay more attention to energy efficiency.
- Implications for HPC system users: The different ranking orders suggest that HPC system users should consider energy efficiency when choosing a system.
- Implications for HPC system providers: The different ranking orders suggest that HPC system providers need to develop more energy-efficient systems.