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Home > News Room > "Earth Simulator" Wins First Place in the HPC Challenge Awards

"Earth Simulator" Wins First Place in the HPC Challenge Awards - World Fastest Performance on Global FFT -

*** For immediate use November 17, 2010

Tokyo, November 17, 2010 - NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) today announced that the renewed "Earth Simulator," (*1) which NEC deployed in March 2009 for the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (President: Yasuhiro Kato; JAMSTEC), an independent administrative organization, topped the Global FFT (Fast Fourier Transform), one of the measures of the HPC Challenge Awards (*2) with the performance number of 11.876TFLOPS (*3).

The award winners were announced on November 16 at the SC10 supercomputing conference held in New Orleans.

The HPC Challenge Awards are designed to evaluate four key measures that represent frequently used numerical operation patterns in scientific computing. Among them, the Global FFT is widely utilized in important scientific applications, such as climate modeling, which is critical to tackling environmental issues, and solid-earth geophysics, including seismic analysis, as well as designing of new materials.

The award-winning performance of the Earth Simulator on the Global FFT demonstrates the system's exceptional processing capabilities on real scientific application software.

The application fields of the Earth Simulator span a wide spectrum of areas with its outstanding sustained performance. For example, it contributes to more accurate climate change projections and the comprehensive understanding of environmental issues, such as the assessment of the effects of global warming for the fifth report of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), as well as prevention and mitigation of natural disasters through high-resolution simulations of earthquakes and seismic surges. Moreover, the Earth Simulator is utilized heavily in the technical computing arena by leveraging cooperative relationships with industry partners.


(*1) Earth Simulator

The Earth Simulator is a parallel vector computing system that was launched in March 2002 at JAMSTEC. The renewed Earth Simulator, put into operational use in March 2009, consists of 160 nodes of the SX-9/E system with a theoretical peak performance of 131TFLOPS, which also boasts the world fastest CPU core of 102.4GFLOPS.

(*2) HPC Challenge Awards

The core of the HPC Challenge Awards Competition is the HPC Challenge benchmark suite ( developed at the University of Tennessee under the US DARPA HPCS program. Here the HPC Challenge benchmark is comprised of a set of performance indexes aimed at examining the performance of HPC architectures from diversified perspectives using kernel programs as a suite, which augments the popular TOP500 list based on the Linpack benchmark for solving simultaneous linear equations.

The HPC Challenge benchmark is capable of comprehensively evaluating system performance from the view point of not only computing speed but also the data transfer rate between CPU and memory, as well as intra-CPU network speed.

There are two classes of the HPC Challenge Awards. Class 1 focuses on best performance; Class 2 evaluates the sophistication of code design. Specifically, the Class 1 Awards competition focuses on four of the most challenging benchmarks in the suite:

- Global HPL: floating point rate of execution for solving a linear system of equations (Linpack TPP)
- Global FFT: Rate of execution for Fast Fourier Transform
- Global Random Access: Rate of integer random updates of memory
- Embarrassingly Parallel STREAM Triad per system: Sustainable memory bandwidth

While the first three measures are evaluated with all CPU processes computing and communicating with each other, the last one is run with all CPU processes computing without communication.

(*3) FLOPS

Number of floating-point calculations that can be carried out per second.
One TERAFLOP is a floating-point calculation speed based on 1 trillion occurrences every second.

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NEC Press Contact (Japan)

Joseph Jasper
NEC Corporation

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