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Diversity attacks Top500 supercomputer list

While IBM keeps gloating

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SC07 The latest Top 500 Supercomputer list has arrived, reflecting a rather vibrant market for the highest performing systems.

A refreshed version of IBM's BlueGene/L system at Lawrence Livermore National Lab remains the top overall machine. It's been number one since 2004, which must be a source of endless joy at both Big Blue and LLNL. The fresh BlueGene system has posted a Linpack benchmark score of 478.2 teraflops, which compares to 280.6 teraflops six months ago.

But looking at the top ten machines, you'll discover a number of vendors with multiple systems. IBM takes the one, two, eight and 10 slots, while SGI comes in at number three, HP places at four and five and Cray grabs the six, seven and nine slots.

The US, as usual, dominates the list with seven out of the top ten systems, but Germany, India and Sweden have some of the high-performing gear as well.

All told, IBM accounted for 232 of the top 500 systems, while HP provided another 166 systems. Dell, SGI and Cray also had between one and two dozen machines in the top 500.

Around 71 per cent of the boxes ran on Intel's Xeon processors versus 79 systems using AMD's Opteron chip. IBM's Power chip accounted for 61 boxes, and remarkably Intel's Itanic processor made it into 19 computers.

The open source bigots will be pleased to find Linux on a whopping 85 per cent of the boxes.

You can slice and dice the list, which was revealed at the Supercomputing conference in Reno, here. ®

Register editor Ashlee Vance has just pumped out a new book that's a guide to Silicon Valley. The book starts with the electronics pioneers present in the Bay Area in the early 20th century and marches up to today's heavies. Want to know where Gordon Moore eats Chinese food, how unions affected the rise of microprocessors or how Fairchild Semiconductor got its start? This is the book for you - available at Amazon US here or in the UK here.

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