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Intel powers more TOP500 supercomputers

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The number of Intel systems in the TOP500 supercomputers more than doubled in the last six months from 56 to 119.

"This is a major shift in this marketplace," commented the compilers of the Top500list, a new version of which was published today.

"With this increase, the Intel processor family joins IBM's Power architecture and Hewlett-Packard's PA- RISC chips as one of the dominant processors used in high performance computing systems," they added.

Top place in the supercomputer list goes to the Earth Simulator supercomputer built by NEC and installed last year at the Earth Simulator Center in Yokohama, Japan, with a benchmark performance of 35.86 Tflop/s ("teraflops" or trillions of calculations per second). The ASCI Q system at Los Alamos National Laboratory, with 13.88 Tflop/s, occupies the number two spot. ASCI Q was built by Hewlett-Packard and is based on the AlphaServer SC computer system.

Hot on the heels comes Intel-based monster machines.

The Intel Xeon-based MCR cluster at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory outranked ASCI White (fourth place) and achieved the highest position ever for any cluster (third place). It uses a Quadrics interconnect and was manufactured by Linux Networx.

Two notable newcomers among the top 10 are: Fujitsu's PrimePower HPC2500 system at the National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan, the largest new Japanese system at number seven; and at number eight the largest ranked Itanium-based system, produced by Hewlett-Packard and installed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Gaining entry into the top 10 positions on the new list now requires achieving a Linpack performance just shy of 4 Tflop/s. The total combined performance of all 500 computers on the list is 375 Tflop/s, compared to 293 Tflop/s just six months ago.

In terms of total performance of all the installed systems, the latest TOP500 edition still shows IBM as the clear leader with 34.9 per cent, ahead of HP with 24.1 per cent and NEC with 11.7 per cent.

A total of 159 systems on the TOP500 list were installed by Hewlett-Packard, compared to 158 systems by IBM. SGI is third in this category with 54 systems.

The number of clusters in the TOP500 grew again, now totalling 149 systems. Of these, 23 clusters are labelled as self-made. The overall growth in cluster systems reflects the increased importance of this class of system in the high performance computing market.

The TOP500 list will be presented in detail at the ISC2003 Conference in Heidelberg, Germany, which starts Wednesday, June 25, and continues through Friday, June 27. ®

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