Feeds

IBM tops supercomputer list again

Itanic sinking, HP and Opteron rising

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

SC05 The new list of the world's fastest supercomputers has arrived with few surprises. IBM servers and Intel chips still stand behind the majority of the systems. Itanium keeps losing spots, while Opteron gains momentum; and HP gains strongly while Sun Microsystems struggles to claim a handful of systems.

IBM's BlueGene/L system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) ranks as the top system on the November Top 500 list just as it did in June. The box, however, has doubled in size over the past few months and now claims a Linpack score of 280.6 TFlop/s. No other system has ever cracked the 100 Teraflops per second barrier. IBM also holds the number two slot with a smaller Blue Gene system housed at the Thomas Watson Research Center.

In June, an SGI Itanium-based beast at NASA/Ames held the number three position. Not anymore. IBM now owns the three spot as well with its ASCI Purple system based on pSeries 575 servers also at LLNL.

Overall, IBM has seen its number of Top 500 systems drop from 259 in June to 219 in November. HP picked up a lot of this slack, claiming 169 systems in the most recent list versus 131 systems in June.

Intel's processors sit in a whopping 333 of the Top 500 systems - as many as the last list. Itanic boxes fell though, to just 46 systems from 79. Meanwhile, AMD saw its Opteron chips power 55 systems as opposed to just 25 systems in June. AMD's performance on the Top 500 list has been relatively lackluster given the strong performance of Opteron and interest in the chip.

Of all the Tier 1 vendors, Sun again came in last with just four systems, down from five in June.

As always, the Top 500 list proves interesting to the supercomputing crowd but is largely irrelevant to business customers. The systems on the list cost tens of millions of dollars and are tuned to perform well on the Linpack benchmark. They're used by government labs here and abroad for specialized tasks such as nuclear weapons simulations and weather forecasting.

The vendors don't mind helping the labs out with some financial aid to get these boxes built. IBM, after all, can point to its strong performance for many months and use the supercomputers basically as high-priced advertisements.

You can find the latest Top500 list here. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.