Microsoft Azure Hero 4Source: Microsoft

What you need to know

  • A Microsoft Azure system called Voyager-EUS2 is now the tenth most powerful supercomputer in the world.
  • Microsoft Azure has five spots in the TOP500 list of supercomputers.
  • The Voyager-EUS2's architecture is based on an AMD EPYC processor with 48 cores, an NVIDIA A100 GPU, and 80GB of memory.

Microsoft Azure now claims five spots in the TOP500 list of the world's most powerful supercomputers. The Voyager-EUS2 is the only newcomer to the top 10 of that list. That system's architecture is based on an AMD EPYC processor with 48 cores and an NVIDIA A100 GPU. It also features 80GB of RAM and utilizes a Mellanox HDR Infiniband for data transfer.

The Voyager-EUS2 achieved 30.05 Petaflops per second (Pflop/s). That's enough to get the supercomputer into the top 10, but it falls significantly short of the entries at the top of the list. The Fugaku has an HPL benchmark score of 442 Pflop/s. That is three times more than IBM's Summit (148 Pflop/s), the second-place entry of the TOP500.

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Microsoft's recent blog post about supercomputing states that Azure has four spots in the TOP500. Browsing through the list shows that there are five supercomputers in the TOP500 that use Azure.

That same post also announces the availability of a new virtual machine series in Azure, the NDm A100 v4 Series, which features NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core 80GB GPUs. That's double the memory seen in the original ND A100 v4 series.

The Voyager-EUS2 runs from the Azure East US 2 region. It runs Ubuntu 18.04, which is a distribution of Linux. Several of the most powerful supercomputers in the world run Linux, including Japan's Fugaku and IBM's Sierra, the third entry on the TOP500.

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