News & Media


November 19, 2014

K computer recognized in Class 1 and 2 of the HPC Challenge Awards

RIKEN, the University of Tsukuba and Fujitsu today announced that they received top ranks in two of the four benchmarks at the 2014 HPC Challenge Class 1 Awards, which evaluate the overall performance of supercomputers, for the performance of the K computer. The first-place rankings were received in two benchmarks: (1) Global HPL, which measures the floating point rate of execution for solving a linear system of equations; and (2) EP STREAM (Triad) per system, which measures sustainable memory bandwidth and the corresponding computation rate for simple vector kernels. This marks the fourth consecutive year, from 2011 to 2014, that the K computer has ranked first in the HPC Challenge Class 1 Awards.

In addition, XcalableMP and XcalableACC, which are high-performance supercomputer parallel programming languages developed by RIKEN and the University of Tsukuba, received the HPC Challenge Class 2 Best Performance Award, which recognize the overall performance of a programming language. This is the second year running that XcalableMP has won this award.

The awards were announced on November 18, 2014, in New Orleans, Louisiana, at SC14, the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis.

The HPC Challenge benchmarks are benchmark programs designed to evaluate the overall performance of supercomputers in terms of processing performance based on 28 frequently used computational patterns in the field of scientific computation. At the contest using the HPC Challenge benchmarks, which takes place once a year, there are two classes of awards: Class 1, which measures benchmark performance values, and Class 2, which measures the productivity of programming language implementations.

Among the HPC Challenge benchmarks, particularly important are (1) Global HPL; (2) EP STREAM (Triad) per system; (3) Global FFT; and (4) Global RandomAccess, and top rankings are awarded in each category in the HPC Challenge Class 1 Awards. RIKEN, the University of Tsukuba, and Fujitsu registered performance for each of these benchmarks in the HPC Challenge Class 1 Awards. The University of Tsukuba made especially important contributions to increasing the processing speed for Global FFT.

The HPC Challenge Class 2 Award is a contest for programming languages used in developing HPC applications. This award is designed to evaluate both programming language productivity and performance for four HPC Challenge benchmarks in the HPC Challenge Class 1 Awards.

The award-winning XcalableMP is a programming language that was jointly developed by the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science and the University of Tsukuba's Center for Computational Sciences. XcalableACC, which simultaneously won the award, is an extension of the XcalableMP programming language that enables applications to be developed for supercomputers that are equipped with accelerators. In a performance evaluation of the HPC Challenge benchmarks of XcalableMP using the K computer, extraordinarily high productivity and performance was demonstrated. In addition, the performance of XcalableACC was evaluated using the University of Tsukuba's HA-PACS supercomputer equipped with a GPU accelerator, and it, too, demonstrated exceptionally high productivity and performance.

Programming languages that can be used to develop applications in a short period of time while maintaining performance and that run on large-scale computation environments, such as the K computer, make it possible to accelerate the pace of research. As a result, they are in high demand by researchers both inside and outside Japan. The awards reveal both the high productivity and high performance of XcalableMP and XcalableACC, in addition to demonstrating the substantial effectiveness of programming languages for developing HPC applications.


RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science
Office for Research Communications
Email: aics-koho[at]

Jens Wilkinson
RIKEN Global Relations and Research Coordination Office
Tel: +81-(0)48-462-1225 / Fax: +81-(0)48-463-3687