Highlights - November 2006

Highlights from the Top 10

  • While the No. 1 system is still unchallenged, the rest of the TOP10 experienced a major shakeup since June 2006.

  • The new and previous No. 1 is DOE's IBM BlueGene/L system, installed at DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) with a Linpack performance of 280.6 TFlop/s.

  • Sandia’s Cray Red Storm system is only the second system ever recorded to exceed the 100 TFlop/s mark. It holds the No. 2 spot with 101.4 TFlop/s.

  • The No. 3 is the IBM eServer Blue Gene Solution system, installed at IBM’s Thomas Watson Research Center with 91.20 TFlop/s Linpack performance.

  • The new No. 5 is the largest system in Europe, an IBM JS21 cluster installed at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, with performance of 62.63 TFlop/s.

  • Sandia’s Dell PowerEdge system was re-measured at 53 TFlop/s and was able to hold on to No. 6 spot.

  • The NovaScale 5160 system built by the French company Bull at the Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique (CEA) slipped to No. 7, despite a new Linpack measurement of 52.84 TFlop/s.

  • 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, installed at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

  • 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.

  • The current No. 10 system is the upgraded Cray XT3 system at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory with 43.48 Tflop/s (which would have ranked it at No. 5 in June). One year ago, its predecessor was also No. 10 with just 20.53 Tflop/s.

General highlights from the Top 500 since the last edition

  • The entry level to the list moved up to the 2.737 TFlop/s mark on the Linpack benchmark, compared to 2.026 TFlop/s six months ago.

  • The last system on the list would have been listed at position 359 in the last TOP500 just six months ago. This is one of the smallest turnover rates seen in the TOP500.

  • Total accumulated performance has grown to 3.54 PFlop/s, compared to 2.79 PFlop/s six months ago and 2.30 PFlop/s one year ago.

  • The entry point for the top 100 increased in six months from 4.71 TFlop/s to 6.65 TFlop/s.

  • A total of 261 systems (52.2 percent) are now using Intel processors, which is down from 333 (66.6 percent) one year ago.

  • The AMD Opteron family passed the IBM Power processors and is now the second most common processor family with 113 systems (22.6 percent) up from 55 systems (11 percent) one year ago. 93 systems (18.6 percent) use IBM Power processors up from 73 systems (14.6 percent) one year ago.

  • Dual core processors are becoming widespread. Already 75 systems use Opteron dual core processors and an impressive 31 systems use the new Intel Woodcrest dual core chips.

  • 359 systems are labeled as clusters, making this the most common architecture in the TOP500 with a virtually unchanged share of 72 percent.

  • Gigabit Ethernet is still the most used internal system interconnect technology (211 systems, down from 256 six month ago). Myricom’s Myrinet is used in 79 systems, down from 87. InfiniBand technology was able to increase its share to 78 systems up from 36 six months ago.

  • At present, IBM and Hewlett-Packard sell the bulk of systems at all performance levels of the TOP500.

  • IBM remains the clear leader in the TOP500 list with 47.8 percent of systems (unchanged from 48 percent) and 49.9 percent of installed performance (down from 53.9 percent).

  • HP is second with 31.2 percent of systems (unchanged from 31.4 percent) and 16.5 percent of performance (down from 17.8 percent).

  • The other manufacturers with more than 5 percent in any category are: Cray (8.2 percent of performance), Dell (7.3 percent of performance), and SGI (5.4 percent), each of which benefit from large systems in the TOP10.

  • IBM (121) and HP (116) sold together 237 out of 244 systems at commercial and industrial customers and have this important market segment clearly cornered.

  • The U.S. is clearly the leading consumer of HPC systems with 306 of the 500 systems. The European share (95 systems) recovered slightly and is again larger then the Asian share (79 systems).

  • Dominant countries in Asia are Japan with 30 systems (up from 29) and China with 18 systems (down from 28).

  • In Europe, UK has established itself as the No. 1 with 32 systems (35 six months ago). Germany has to live with the No. 2 spot with 19 systems (18 six month ago).