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What will the mean of the year-over-year growth rate of the sum of teraflops of the all 500 supercomputers in the TOP500 be, in the three year period ending in November 2023?

In the seven decades since the invention of the point-contact transistor at Bell Labs, relentless progress in the development of semiconductor devices — Moore’s law — has been achieved despite regular warnings from industry observers about impending limits.

The sum of teraflops of the all 500 supercomputers in the TOP500 experienced an an average (geometric mean) of 68.9% year-over-year growth since the first TOP500 publication in July of 1993. This growth rate amounts to a doubling time in total computational power of the top 500 supercomputers of roughly 16 months.

Progress in compute seemed to have peaked in the three year period ending in 2008 at an average of 128.85% year-over-year growth. The weakest growth was in the three year period ending in 2014, at an average of only 30.45%.

What will the mean of the year-over-year growth rate of the sum of teraflops of the all 500 supercomputers in the TOP500 be, in the three year period ending in November 2023 (in percent)?


Resolution

The question resolves as the geometric mean of the year-over-year growth rate of the sum of performance on the High Performance Linpack (HPL) benchmark of the all 500 supercomputers in the TOP500, in teraflops, over the three year period ending November 2024. That is, the question resolves as the geometric mean of the growth rates (in %) over the following six periods:

  • Jul 2020 to Jul 2021
  • Nov 2020 to Nov 2021
  • Jul 2021 to Jul 2022
  • Nov 2021 to Nov 2022
  • Jul 2022 to Jul 2023
  • Nov 2023 to Nov 2023

The geometric mean is used, as opposed to the more common arithmetic mean, because this is appropriate for growth that compounds over time.

Data

Historical data can be found here. Please make a copy by clicking "file" and then "make a copy" if you wish to edit it. If you make useful additions to the dataset, please share the file in the comments.

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