An IBM-built computer that has topped the list of the world's 500
most powerful supercomputers has widened its lead in the latest ranking
The computer named Blue Gene/L, deployed at Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory, has doubled its performance to 280.6 trillion
calculations per second (teraflops), up from 136.8 teraflops from the
list released in June.
The system, which is used to study the U.S. nuclear stockpile and
perform other research, was officially completed this summer after it
was doubled in size. Researchers expect it will hold the top spot for
the foreseeable future.
"This is as fast as this will get under the contract we have, but
it's not limited to be only this fast,' said Dave Turek, vice
president of deep computing at IBM. "If Livermore were to have an
interest in taking it bigger, we could do that.'
International Business Machines Corp. built the top three systems
on the list released Monday by the Top 500 project, an independent
group of university computer scientists who release supercomputer
rankings every six months.
Big Blue built 43.8 percent of the systems on the entire list.
The No. 2 machine is another Blue Gene system, with performance
ranked at 91.2 teraflops. It's installed at IBM's Thomas Watson
Research Center. The No. 3 system, also at LLNL, reached 63.4 teraflops
in the test.
Hewlett-Packard Co. is the No. 2 manufacturer, with 33.8 percent of
the machines on the list. No other computer maker has more than 7
percent in any category. Of the chip makers, Intel Corp. microprocessors were used in a
total of 333 systems, with 81 using the company's EM64T technology. IBM
chips are in second place, with its Power microprocessors at the heart
of 73 systems.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s Opteron chips were used in 55 systems, up from 25 six months ago.