IBM, Cray lead Top 500 supercomputer rankings

IBM, HP, Cray, Intel dominate Top 500 supercomputer list

The world's two most powerful computers have not been surpassed in 2009, but the latest edition of the Top 500 supercomputer list shows a new entry in third place and continued dominance from the likes of IBM, Cray, HP and Intel.

Announced Tuesday, the Top 500 Supercomputer Sites list ranks the world's fastest machines twice a year. The total combined performance of the 500 machines has reached 22.6 petaflops, nearly twice what was achieved only one year ago. Each petaflop represents one thousand trillion calculations per second.

Still ranked number one is the Roadrunner system at the Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory, which was built by IBM and is rated at 1.105 petaflops.

Still in second place is the Cray XT5 Jaguar system at Doe's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, rated at 1.059 petaflops.

The highest-ranking newcomer on the list is an IBM BlueGene/P system in Germany, which is called JUGENE and is installed at the Forschungszentrum Juelich research center. JUGENE performs 825.5 trillion calculations per second and has a "theoretical peak performance" of more than 1 petaflop, according to the Top 500 announcement.

JUGENE edged out the previous third-place entrant, a NASA machine known as Pleiades. The Juelich research center also houses the new 10th place finisher, which is called Europa and achieved 274.8 trillion calculations per second using Bull NovaScale and Sun Blade x6048 servers. These two German computers are the only top ten systems from outside the United States.

There were two other new entries in the top ten: A Cray XT5 system at the University of Tennessee, which is in sixth place; and an IBM system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in ninth place.

In addition to changes in the top, there was significant upheaval in the lower levels of the top 500. The slowest computer of the 500, which achieved 17.1 trillion calculations per second, would have been the 274th fastest only six months ago.

On average, each system in the top ten consumes 2.45 megawatts, unchanged from six months ago. Power efficiency has increased substantially, however, as the systems are now offering greater performance in the same power envelope.

Six months ago, Microsoft achieved a milestone by placing a Windows-based system in the top ten. That system, based at the Shanghai Supercomputer Center, is now rated #15 in the world.

In broader terms, the Top 500 update shows that HP still has the most individual systems on the list, but IBM ranks the highest when it comes to total performance of systems in the Top 500.

Cray's XT systems are still popular in large high-performance computing centers, with 10 out of the top 50 systems worldwide. Nearly 80% of the Top 500 computers are based on Intel processors, up from 75.8% six months ago. Intel gained at the expense of IBM and AMD. IBM Power processors account for 55 of the Top 500, down from 60; while AMD Opteron accounts for 43 systems, down from 59.

The United States accounts for 291 of the top systems, compared to 145 in Europe and 49 in Asia.

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.

Tags HPintelIBMCrayRoadrunner

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jon Brodkin

Network World
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?