Top 10 Supercomputers


Piz Daint (Switzerland)

Piz Daint is almost as pretty as it is powerful. © CSCS
Piz Daint is almost as pretty as it is powerful. © CSCS

Although Piz Daint has been in operation since April 2013, this Cray system later went through a major upgrade that boosted it into the No. 6 position and dethroned JuQUEEN as the most powerful supercomputer in Europe.

Piz Daint runs Intel Xeon E5 processors along with NVIDIA graphical processing units (GPUs) for added performance, allowing it to reach 6.3 petaflops with its 116,000 processing cores. It resides at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) and will be put to use modeling weather and climate patterns and performing scientific computation in a variety of other fields.

The Piz Daint is also one of the most energy efficient supercomputers on the list, with an efficiency level of 3,185.9 megaflops per watt (MFLOPS/W) [sources: Green500, Smith]. It's the only supercomputer to make the top 10 in both the TOP500 and GREEN500 lists. GREEN500 takes all the supercomputers in the TOP500 list and ranks them by energy efficiency. Piz Daint's hybrid architecture, which uses both traditional CPUs (central processing units) and more energy-efficient GPUs, helps keep its energy usage low.