The winning streak of ARM continues, as it now power the fastest supercomputer in the world

Article Edited by | Jhon N |


There's a very good chance that your smartphone is running on ARM hardware, as almost all do. And in a few years ' time, so will all new Mac systems, with Apple announcing yesterday that it has started transitioning away from using Intel CPUs in favor of ARM. Here is another to add "the fastest supercomputer in the world" to the list

That's according to the Top500 project which released its supercomputer rankings for the 55th edition. As of now, Japan's top system is the Fugaku, a system developed jointly by Riken and Fujitsu. It's the first time that ARM hardware has powered the number one spot, and only one of only four supercomputers that run on ARM overall.

In particular, the A64FX system-on - chip (SoC) from Fujitsu is doing the number crunching for Fugaku. Each SoC is equipped with 48 cores, and inside the supercomputer there are a whole bunch of them-152,064, to be precise, with room to add 6,912 more.

That works to a staggering 7.299.072 cores (and 7.630.848 cores if the remaining nodes are populated). As measured by Top500, Fugaku is able to process more than 415,5 quadrillion computations per second at its current state.

The top spot previously belonged to the Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is powered by a combination of IBM Power9 CPUs and Nvidia Tesla V100 GPUs. Fugaku is roughly 2.8 stronger than Summit. However, the power gap isn't surprising, as Fugaku rocks just over three times as many cores.

Although certainly impressive, Fugaku 's time in the top spot will probably be short lived. That's because the US Department of Energy is working with AMD and Cray to power next year on a supercomputer called Frontier, which promises to deliver 1.5 performance exaflops. That would make it 3x more powerful than Fugaku.

"The announcement today signals the direction the industry is heading, and through this collaborative effort a shared purpose has emerged to enable greater choice and flexibility for multiple segments of the infrastructure market," said ARM.

I have to imagine that there is more than enough processing power to hammer out multiple Crysis instances. However, with a new Crysis game on the horizon, instead, Fugaku will be used for such things as research into drug therapy and climate prediction. It is already being used in the Covid-19 fight, and will continue those efforts as well.