China dominates Top500 with 219 supercomputers

IBM Corporation logo

IBM Corporation logo

THE FIRST THING YOU DO when you build a new supercomputer is to spout about how it's one of the most powerful in the world, as is the case with the IBM-built Pangea III. The Pangea III supercomputer as of now is being used by Total to further its oil and gas exploration. It can multiply the company's computing power by nearly five times, to 31.7 petaflops - equivalent to 170,000 laptops combined - and triple its storage capacity to 76 petabytes, which is equivalent to about 50mn high-definition movies, Total said June 18. In the TOP500's 53rd edition, the top 4 supercomputers remain unchanged, with IBM's Summit and Sierra taking the top two sports, followed by Chinese TaihuLight and Tianhe-2A. Because IBM POWER9 is optimized to take advantage of attached accelerators, it is created to help Total not only improve performance but also improve energy efficiency in their HPC workloads.

Total says the new algorithms and supercomputer will help it process seismic data more accurately and at a higher resolution, improving its avidity to reliably find hydrocarbons below ground, such as resources trapped under salt in Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico, Angola, and the Eastern Mediterranean. "We are developing advanced imaging algorithms to give us much better images of the sub-surface in these complex domains and Pangea III will let us do it 10 times faster than we could before".

Reliable Development and Production Models - through increased computing power, Total will use innovative reservoir simulation methods that, for example, integrate the field's production history to generate more reliable predictive production models faster.

"Based on the same IBM technology found in Summit and Sierra, the world's smartest supercomputers, Pangea III demonstrates that IBM Power Systems are not just for the large government or research organizations", said David Turek, Vice President of Exascale Systems for IBM Systems.

The computer ranks as number 1 among supercomputers in the oil and gas sector, and number 11 globally, according to the TOP500 table which ranks supercomputers twice a year. Among the main highlights: All 500 machines on the list now provide a petaflop or more of processing power.

Lenovo tops the rankings as the main high-performance computing vendor in the latest Top500 study.

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