NASA's flagship supercomputer, Pleiades, has moved up to seventh place in the United States on the TOP500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, and is now ranked 11th worldwide. The November 2014 TOP500 list, created by an international group of supercomputing professionals, was announced today at the 26th International Supercomputing Conference (SC14) in New Orleans.
The 198,432-core Pleiades system, located at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Califorina, supports NASA missions in aeronautics, Earth and space science, and the next generation of space travel. The system was recently upgraded with new, more powerful hardware in order to help meet the agency's increasing demand for high-performance computing resources.
Completed in October 2014, the upgrade adds 15 SGI ICE X racks (1,080 nodes) containing the latest generation of 12-core Intel Xeon E5-2680v3 (Haswell) processors. Additionally, 216 nodes of Intel Xeon E5-2680v2 (Ivy Bridge) processors, originally part of a separate test system, were also integrated into Pleiades. The new hardware increased Pleiades' sustained performance to 3.38 petaflops (quadrillion floating-point operations per second), as compared to 1.54 petaflops in November 2013—an almost 120 percent increase in performance.
In order to accommodate the cooling and power capacity needed for the upgrade, 16 SGI Altix ICE racks containing Intel Xeon X5670 (Westmere) processors were removed from Pleiades. A portion of these racks will be integrated into a smaller, auxiliary supercluster at Ames over the next several months.
For more information about the TOP500 list, visit:
For more information about the NASA Advanced Supercomputing facility, visit:
For more information about Ames, visit:
Text issued as Ames release 14-074AR
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.