IBM, HP share bragging rights on supercomputer list

IBM still has the fastest supercomputer on the planet, but HP surpassed it in the number of supercomputers, according to an industry survey out Wednesday.

IBM still operates the fastest supercomputer in the industry, but rival HP has more of them in operation, according to a closely watched global survey.

HP has passed IBM in the number of supercomputers in operation and enjoys the largest market share, according to a list of the Top 500 supercomputers that was compiled by university computer researchers in the US and Germany. But IBM's Blue Gene/L supercomputer, installed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, ranked first on the list and IBM claims it is the market share leader when vendors are ranked by combined computing performance.

The biannual list was released to coincide with the International Supercomputing Conference in Dresden, Germany.

HP grew its market share to 40.4 per cent with 202 systems, while IBM's share fell to 38.4 per cent with 192 systems. In the previous report in November 2006, IBM's share was 47.2 per cent with 236 systems, to HP's 31.6 per cent with 158 systems.

IBM said it held a 42 per cent share of the supercomputer market when it was based on the combined processing power of each vendor's equipment. Its Blue Gene/L took the number one spot with a "sustained performance" of 280.6 trillion operations per second, or teraflops. Flops is an acronym for "floating point operations per second", a measure of computing performance.

This week, IBM announced a new supercomputer, Blue Gene/P, which will have three times the processing power of the Blue Gene/L. A two-rack test model of the P made it into the top 30 on the list, achieving 20.86 teraflops (T flops), although IBM said that properly configured, the P may be able to hit 3 petaflops (P flops), or 1000 trillion calculations per second.

Sun Microsystems, which held only a 1.4 per cent share with only seven systems deployed, is making a concerted effort to pursue the supercomputer market. Sun announced this week that it was building a supercomputer, codenamed Constellation, which was designed to reach 1P flops. It is building Constellation at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at the University of Texas in Austin. Sun received $US29.6 million of a total $US59 million National Science Foundation grant to build Constellation, while the balance of $US29.4 million will go towards operational costs, according to a TACC spokesperson.

The Top Five Supercomputer systems in the latest survey, their manufacturer, the number of processors and the user are as follows:

1. IBM, 131,072, US Department of Energy-Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
2. IBM, 40,960, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center.
3. IBM, 12,208, DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
4. Silicon Graphics, 10,160, NASA Ames Research Center.
5. Bull SA, 8704, Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique (CEA) in France

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert Mullins

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?