AMD has gained ground on Intel in a list of the world's 500 fastest
supercomputers, but Intel's new Xeon 5100 "Woodcrest" processor has quickly carved out a place for itself.
The 28th TOP500 List was released in Tampa, FL during SC06, the
Intermnational Conference for High performance Computing. Researchers from
the University of Mannheim in Germany, Lawrence Berkeley National
Laboratory and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville compile the Top
500 list and present it at supercomputing shows. It's based on an
incomplete but useful measure of system performance, a speed test called
Linpack. For the Linpack benchmark, results are measured in trillions or
calculations per second, or teraflops.
According to the list, the number of systems using Intel processors
dropped from 301 in June's version of the twice-yearly Top 500
supercomputer list to 263 on the new list. AMD-based systems increased
from 81 to 113 in the same period. On the other hand, the Intel-based
systems have decreased greatly from 333 to 261 systems.
The trend in the supercomputing area reflects AMD's market share victories
over rival Intel. But Intel's Woodcrest processor, which has helped the
chipmaker reverse its general decline in server market share since it was
released in June, has already arrived in 31 systems on the supercomputer
However, the top system on the list is again the IBM BlueGene/L system. it
is installed at DOE?s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and
gave a Linpack performance of 280.6 teraflops (trillions of calculations
per second, or Tflop/s).
The new No. 2 systems is Sandia National Laboratories? Cray Red Storm
supercomputer, only the second system ever to be recorded to exceed the
100 Tflops/s mark with 101.4 Tflops/s. The initial Red Storm system was
ranked No. 9 in the last listing. AMD's Opteron processors are used in
Cray's Red system.
Slipping to No. 3 from No. 2 last June is the IBM eServer Blue Gene
Solution system, installed at IBM?s Thomas Watson Research Center with
91.20 Tflops/s Linpack performance.
The new No. 5 is the largest system in Europe, an IBM JS21 cluster
installed at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center. The system reached 62.63
Sandia?s Dell PowerEdge system was re-measured at 53 Tflops/s and was able
to hold on to No. 6 spot.
The NovaScale 5160 system built by the French company Bull and installed
at France?s Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique (CEA) slipped to No. 7,
despite a new Linpack measurement of 52.84 Tflops/s. The original system
debuted in the No. 5 position in June.
No. 9 is now occupied by the largest system in Japan, a cluster integrated
by NEC based on Sun Fire X4600 with Opteron processors, ClearSpeed
accelerators, and an InfiniBand interconnect. The system is installed at
the Tokyo Institute of Technology.
The current No. 10 system is the upgraded Cray XT3 system at DOE?s Oak
Ridge National Laboratory with 43.48 Tflop/s. It would have been ranked at
No. 5 in June, and one year ago its predecessor was also No. 10 with just
The Earth Simulator, built by NEC, which held the No. 1 spot for five
lists, has now slipped out of the TOP10 and is ranked at No 14.