AMD, IBM Climb In Latest Supercomputer Rankings

AMD and IBM are on the rise, while Intel declined slightly in its dominance of microprocessor technology in the latest rankings of the top 500 supercomputer systems.
China rising

The U.S. remains the primary user of high performance computers with 298 of the systems. However, Asia surpasses Europe as second largest user.

Asia has 93 systems, up from 66 six months ago, while Europe hosts, 83 down from 100 83 supercomputers. China now has 28 systems on the list up from 17—and just one supercomputer behind the number installed in Japan.

The latest ranking otherwise showed few major changes. The IBM BlueGene/L system remains by far the most powerful on the list at 280.6 TeraFlops/s based on the Linpack benchmark. No other system exceeds 100 TFlops.

"A lot of companies and institutions are vying to roll out the first PetaFlops system," said Erich Strohmaier, a computer scientist with Lawrence Berkeley Labs, who helps maintain the Top 500 list. "But we don't expect to see anyone field that until late 2009, or perhaps earlier because this is such a huge trophy," he added.

Bull SA of France gained kudos for building a system with 8,704 Itanium CPUs that ranks as the fifth most powerful computer on the list. At No. 7 is a supercomputer based on a cluster of servers from Sun Microsystems using AMD Opteron CPUs and integrated by NEC, the first time Japan's largest system was not built by a local computer maker.

Japan's Earth Simulator, also built by NEC, has now slipped to No. 10. It held the top spot on five lists.

IBM remained the primary supercomputer vendor on the list, supplying 48.6 percent of systems, up from 43.8 percent. Hewlett-Packard took second place at 30.8 percent of systems down from 33.8 percent. No other vendor supplied more than 5 percent of systems on the list.

The entry level system on the list moved up to the 2.026-TFlops/s mark on the Linpack benchmark, compared to 1.646 TFlops/s six months ago.

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