AMD-Powered Frontier Supercomputer Breaks the Exascale

The AMD-powered Frontier supercomputer is now the first officially recognized exascale supercomputer in the world, topping 1.102 ExaFlop/s during a sustained Linpack run. That ranks first on the newly-released Top500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers as the number of AMD-powered systems on the list has expanded significantly this year. Frontier not only overtakes the previous leader, Japan’s Fugaku, but blows it out of the water — in fact, Frontier is faster than the next seven supercomputers on the list, combined. Notably, while Frontier hit 1.1 ExaFlops during a sustained Linpack FP64 benchmark, the system delivers up to 1.69 ExaFlops in peak performance but has headroom to hit 2 ExaFlops after more tuning. For reference, one ExaFlop equals one quintillion floating point operations per second.  

Frontier also now ranks as the fastest AI system on the planet, dishing out 6.88 ExaFlops of mixed-precision performance in the HPL-AI benchmark. That equates to 68 million instructions per second for each of the 86 billion neurons in the brain, highlighting the sheer computational horsepower. It appears this system will compete for the AI leadership position with newly-announced AI-focused supercomputers powered by Nvidia’s Arm-based Grace CPU Superchips.

Additionally, the Frontier Test and Development (Crusher) system also placed first on the Green500, denoting that Frontier’s architecture is now also the most power-efficient supercomputing architecture in the world (the primary Frontier system ranks second on the Top500). The full system delivered 52.23 GFlops per watt while consuming 21.1 MW (megawatts) of power during the qualifying benchmark run. At peak utilization, Frontier consumes 29 MW. 

The Frontier supercomputer’s sheer scale is breathtaking, but is just one of many accomplishments for AMD in this year’s Top500 list — AMD EPYC-powered systems now comprise five of the top ten supercomputers in the world, and ten of the top twenty. In fact, AMD’s EPYC is now in 94 of the Top500 supercomputers in the world, marking a steady increase over the 73 systems listed in November 2021, and the 49 listed in June 2021. AMD also appears in more than half of the new systems on the list this year. As you can see in the above album, Intel CPUs still populate most systems on the Top500, while Nvidia GPUs also continue as the dominant accelerator.