Japan’s Fugaku Heads the Latest List of Top 500 Supercomputers

The top 10 had few changes, but cloud systems made a surprisingly strong showing below

The 57th edition of the Top500 supercomputers was announced recently to coincide with the digital International Supercomputing Conference (ISC). The latest list had few surprises, with the Fugaku supercomputer for Japan’s RIKEN Center for Computational Science retaining the top spot with benchmark performance of 442 Pflops/s. Nine of the top ten systems from the previous November 2020 list stayed in the top ten. The only new top ten entry was the US DOE NERSC system at the US Lawrence Berkeley National laboratory, which weighed in at 64.6 Pflops/s -- good enough to fifth.   
Although the top 10 held fairly steady, some interesting developments played out below. Perhaps the most compelling story was the continued emergence of cloud-based systems. According to the report by the TOP500 group, the latest edition saw “...quite a few instances of Microsoft Azure and Amazon EC2 Cloud instances fairly high on the list.” The 24th and 27th spots went to systems that rely on Azure, and the Amazon EC2 Instance Cluster came in at 41.